November 1st, 2007
01:22 PM ET
2 months ago

State GOP lawmaker in gay sex scandal

Watch CNN's Carol Costello report on the latest scandal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It has been a truly scandalous few months for the GOP - for the third time in three months a Republican lawmaker is accused of soliciting sex with another man.

This time it's Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis - whose “I’m not gay” defense sounds a lot like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen's and Idaho Senator Larry Craig's.

Curtis told the Columbian newspaper in Spokane that he did not have sex with the man.

But the Spokane police department tell CNN a different story.

They say that on October 26, Curtis, dressed in women's lingerie, is alleged to have approached a young man in the "Hollywood Erotic Boutique."

The rest of the story is contained in a graphic 50 page police document. The young man alleges Curtis offered him $1,000 for unprotected sex at a nearby hotel.

And he says, "At the conclusion of the sexual activities, Curtis fell asleep."

The police report says the man, Cody Castagna, then took Curtis’ wallet - in order to extort money from the representative - and "threatened to publicly expose Richard Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife."

At that point, police say Curtis called on an officer to investigate, hoping the incident would go away once police nabbed a suspect for taking his wallet.

Instead the media got wind of the case and found Curtis' alleged sex partner-who went public with his attorney.

"He gave me his wallet…as collateral for what he promised me" said Castagna.

It's a particularly ugly drama unfolding around another conservative Republican lawmaker. Like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen, who has pled not guilty to a charge of soliciting gay sex in July and Sen. Larry Craig, who is trying to withdraw his guilty plea on a charge of disorderly conduct in a restroom at Minneapolis Airport.

Curtis is married with children - and votes conservatively. He has voted against a domestic partnership bill, and a bill that would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

On Wednesday he announced he was resigning his seat and said in a statement: “Events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

“This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.”

The Spokane County prosecutor is considering whether to bring a charge of extortion against Castagna.

– CNN's Carol Costello


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Vic, Wheaton, IL

    Pretty much what happened in the Bible in Genesis 38:

    http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Gen&chapter=38#n55

    November 1, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. TBONE Minneapolis MN

    Do you think it's a sign of intelligence to judge an entire political party based on a few hypocritical closeted homosexuals? That would be like judging the entire Democratic party on Ted Kennedy's "drowning" incident and Bill Clinton's sex scandal. Ridiculous! The media just pulls out the scandalous stuff.

    November 1, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. T.R. Wilken, Oklahoma City, OK

    James in Phoenix,

    Just FYI,

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/22/murphy.medal.of.honor/index.html

    Is the story on the SEAL awarded the MOH. It was the main front page story the day it was awarded, I read it then. Please stop relying on nobody checking your (false) assertions.

    November 1, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Julie, Fairfax, VA

    James from Phoenix –

    Here's the link to the article about Lt. Murphy being awarded the Medal of Honor, since you claim CNN didn't report on it. http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/22/murphy.medal.of.honor/index.html?iref=newssearch
    Get your facts straight, focus on the laws broken here (soliciting sex) and stop blaming the media for digging the whole that the Republican party has dug for themselves. Thanks!!

    November 1, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Clayton St.louis, Missouri

    To James in AZ, Go back and check the archives. CNN did run a story about the navy seal who was awarded the medal of honor. Get the facts straight before you start ranting.

    November 1, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Erica Atlanta, GA

    Hey, Russ from Columbia-you are so ignorant to think that just because Giuliani supports same-sex marriage he must be gay. Your thinking is passe and convoluted. Read a book.

    November 1, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. David, Dallas Tx

    It's not news that another Republican with an anti-gay voting history is caught soliciting gay sex.

    It's news that this time, the guy had the guts to step down from office, at least partly out of concern for his family.

    Kudos for the latter, if not the former.

    It ain't the sex but the hypocrasy that's the problem with the Republican party.

    November 1, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Kim, Midland MI

    As as WIFE – I am disgusted and I don't care what sex either person is, but having unprotected sex with a prostitute, on the sly, that should be a CRIME.

    Today, why anyone would take this risk and then bring it into their own home, shame on them and this person has demonstrated a lack of moral character that goes well beyond any question of is he gay or not. Who cares? He had unprotected sex with a sex worker and exposed the people in his life that he is supposed to protect, to a DEATH SENTANCE.

    I don't care what your political affilication, but are you so clueless that you don't see what is happening all over the world with AIDS? Heterosexual men having unprotected sex with prostitutes and then bringing it home to their wives and children is leaving millions of children orphaned all over the world.

    So if you are so stupid, so completely lacking in morale judgement that you would do this to your own family – YEAH get the heck out of congress and I hope your wife divorces you and takes you for a lot of money.

    November 1, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Tom Dedham, Mass: Come out of the closet.

    November 1, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Tim- NYC

    WAKE UP AMERICA!

    If we are to ever get our country back on track as the most advanced and enlightened model of Democracy, we need to stop voting for the GOP.

    While the Democrats are not perfect (far from it!), we know that they are the only party with the ability to change the direction of our country's failed Right Wing Policies.

    The Hypocrisy must end NOW.

    Stop the campaign against Gay Americans and their right to marry the man or woman that they love.

    So many other countries have moved past this hateful rhetoric and the sky hasn't fallen on them.

    Please reach out to the Gay people you know and tell them you are sorry for the pain and suffering the Republicans have caused them and their families.

    Please reach out to your closeted friends and tell them it's OK to come out and be honest about themselves.

    There are millions of LGBT role models who lead incredibly successful lives while contributing to our remarkable American society.

    November 1, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Tom, New York, NY

    heh, maybe this state representative should call up Obama... he knows some minister who used to have these same type urges and he claims that God saved him from ever doing this.... perhaps he can help guide him.....and Obama can use it to show what a good leader he is...bringing together all kinds of people to make the world better..... heheheheheh

    November 1, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Walter

    I love it. THE GOP IS GAY. Here is a political party that has gone after the Gay communitie so much and have mis-treated them to the point of making them look sub-human and now we find out that the GOP is More Gay then ever....LOL.....This makes me wonder if the GOP is Taliban to. I wonder how many Taliban supporters the GOP has or if thier not in bed with Osoma creatign this stuff up.....Ummmm.....

    Gay Taliban Republican......LOL

    November 1, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. John, Albany, New York

    The spokane prosecutor wants to charge the guy with extortion? What about charging Curtis with committing a "crime against nature". Now anyone with half a brain knows you don't offer one thousand dollars to have an unprotected oral sex with another male. But offering one thousand dollars is most likely what Curtis felt he needed to intice this young guy into letting him do the other kind of gay sex. But since Curtis is a politician he probably won't be charged with anything.

    November 1, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Mac Reid, London, Ontario, Canada

    Perhaps any other closet gays should openly support the Democrats...to allay any suspicion about their sexuality?

    November 1, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Jane Schiff, Cincinnati, Ohio

    I voted teal last spring. (green and blue) Unless Richard Curtis has gone on record with attempting to deprive the public of civil rights, who cares? Bring me up to speed, please – if Richard Curtis has attempted to deprive the public of civil rights!

    November 1, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Georg, Fracas, TN

    Why does the Republican party attract so many closeted homosexuals? Because the GOP forces them to remain in the closet, they just can't leave people's personal lives alone!

    November 1, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Not again!

    This trend is disturbing.

    I mean being continually associated with Conservatives and Republicans is not good for the Gay Community's image.

    November 1, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Tom, South Bend, IN

    Ok.. So we're going to see days of coverage of this garbage on all the media outlets... Let's cut to the chase here. We need a new cable channel for round-the-clock coverage of Conservative Gays Who Are Outted. Might I suggest the CGWO network? Hey cable industry... What do you think? If you did this, CNN could focus on real news.

    November 1, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Abby Gainesville, FL

    I LOVE the rationalizing going on here.

    For years, the GOP and the Religious Right have claimed the moral high ground and barely blushed when discussing and investigating the bedroom habits of citizens in their constituencies.

    Unfortunately, pride goeth before the fall. He who is without sin should cast the first stone. All these alleged Christians forgot main points of the Bible in their quest for a permanent conservative majority.

    They fought dirty, swiftboating Democrats right, left and center – but now listen to them squeal like pigs when caught repeatedly with their pants down.

    NOW they want to claim its private business. NOW they want focus on the job he does, not his character.

    Sorry, but NO. YOU guys started this mess, now you must deal with the consequences. Maybe it will make you think twice before judging others and pulling your dirty tricks on the opposition.

    But I highly doubt it. That would take a level of insight you simply do not possess.

    November 1, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Dotty Manson

    How does homosexuality and/or heterosexuality affect the way a person makes decisions?
    Heterosexual or homosexual ~ decisions are made the same.
    I have to agree that the manner in which he tried to correct the criminal aspect was wrong.
    Guys and gals ~ use discretion if you don't want anyone to know about your closet lifestyle.
    Everyone has a skeleton(s) in their closet.

    November 1, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Doug, New Jersey

    Liberal democrats once again are stating that if you want to be gay in America YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO VOTE DEMOCRAT. Gay Americans are now in good company with other Americans who don't have the right to choice their own ideology.

    It is funny to hear libs preach about how they are for gay rights, then type homophobic remarks like here and all over the web that would make Fred Phelps blush.

    I support gays getting married but I also support gays being able to vote any way they want, therefore I have no choice but to vote against Democrats.

    November 1, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. bob, new york

    Another republican hypocrite. What a surprise.

    November 1, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. kyle,oklahoma city, ok

    Could the GOP be any more damaging to the gay community?
    Not only do they work tirelessly to block legislation that would give homosexual couples more equal rights under the law, but they also engage in perverse clandestine acts that send the message to the rest of the country that to be gay is to be a closeted manipulative liar. Homosexual relationships are every bit as fulfilling and mutually love filled as heterosexual ones. This sort of conduct is the worst sort of smear.

    November 1, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Doug, New Jersey

    I’d rather have to count on the support of Americans who just find that Marriage should be man and woman only to get elected, than to have to count on people who think the US government was behind 9/11, Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, side with communist workers party, and find joy when someone in our military dies or we have a terrorist attack to get elected. :)

    Yeah, find me a republican who has said any comments toward gays that comes close to the homophobic hate from libs against republicans who are gay.

    Republicans want to not allow gays to get married but Democrats don't want to allow gays the right to vote for whoever they want, really, which is worse?

    November 1, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Jay, San Antonio, TX

    Mary: Do you eat milk and meat together? Do you wear more than one type of fabric at the same time? If you answer yes to either one, you're breaking biblical law, too - laws that appear in the same section of the bible as the law against "a man lying with another man as with a woman"... Until you obey all biblical law, don't complain about others who are selective...

    November 1, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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