November 1st, 2007
01:22 PM ET
8 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. Gary C., Stevens Point, WI

    Another GOP gay sex scandal! Why am I not suprised?

    November 1, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Bill,Manhattan,I can't wait for your day to come! Start now and get your friends onboard. These regressives need to be put back in the last century where they belong. Don't forget to post your campaign website so we can all help.

    November 1, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. AW!d Houston Texas

    Yeah – another gay Republican sex scandal or another Democratic hetero sex scandal. What's the difference, really? You can find hypocrites in every party, saying one thing and doing another. Sex just happens to sell newspapers.

    November 1, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Billy Blue, Ann Arbor, MI

    Let me just say ahead of time that I am a liberal.
    However, in my opinion, I don't think this Representitive should resign for not properly representing his supporters. As many readers have suggested, he and several other republican politicians, have consistently hidden and lied about their true sexual preferrence because of fear of rejection from their party and loss of support from their voters. That suggests that perhaps, unfortunately, a large contigency of the voters in their districts are either opposed to homosexual marraiges or homesexual politicians, or perhaps even individuals in general. So while this representative was homosexual himself, his voting record regarding same sex marraiges and rights have been in line with the very people he is representing. For example, if a certain political had hidden personal beliefs regarding marijuana or abortion or whatever, we would not expect him to push legislation in this direction if the very people that voted him into office were against these issues. That is why I feel the representative did not act wrongly in regard to his voting.
    However, I do believe he should resign due to the deplorable actions of soliciting unprotected sex, regardless of whether it was male or female. Such irresponsible and highly ILLEGAL actions should not come from a representative of the United States. His actions have disgraced the US government and dragged our country's name through the mud. We cannot accept such actions nor such individuals to be role models for our citizens.

    November 1, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. JJ, Durham, NC

    Two things bother me: 1) request for unsafe sex; 2) he is endangering his (let's assume) clueless wife's health–physical and mental–by not bein g honest with her. Gay or straight, a person's spouse deserves better treatment/more respect than this.

    November 1, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. bean counter, Motor City, MI

    who cares about some washington state rep. yawn...

    November 1, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Pete, T.S. FL

    If we took the repressed gay vote from the RNC, John Kerry would be President, Al Gore would get ready to run, Osama would be dead and almost 4000 of our military would be alive.

    November 1, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Radical Centrist, Virginia

    Never ceases to amaze me how 'pubs try to confuse the issue... HEY FOLKS IT'S THE HYPOCRISY THING!!! Last thing the discussion needs is somebody ranting about Monica blue dress, etc, etc.. wrong is wrong. I cant wait til the Texican mafia is chased outta town next year...and it wont be a Texas thumpin', it'll be a New York asskicking! I stopped supporting Republicans after Nixon.. Goldwater would be rolling in his grave seeing the state of affairs of the GOP today, what with our own religious Taliban wanting to get into everybodys personal lives!!

    November 1, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Christopher Vasas, San Diego CA

    This is a simple issue made to be complicated since the beginning of time. Sexual relations are ment to be private and personal between the persons directly involved. No one makes an issue for single guys or girls who choose to have annonymous sex with whomever whenever. Sex is just sex, and while there can be an emotional and spiritual attachment to that person you were with, that too is a state of mind influenced by your own decisions. Having a self defining character with morals for yourself and others is what regulates the decision to act or not act in these circumstances. When you get married or enter a domestic relationship, you promise yourself to that one significant person for the rest of your life. You do so with the love and devotion seeded within your soul. If you arent ready to settle down, its time to pack your bags and move on, or get a prenuptial agreement. If you are going to act irresponsible due to your own selfishness, your partner has ever right to take you to the cleaners and leave, or work something out. The business of those in a relationship is private, and shouldn't be made available for the dramatic rises and silent pauses we get afterwards. These irresponsible married or domestic partnerships makes everyone else look bad as a whole. Everyone is very capable of being in a gratifying loving relationship without the selfish acts seen. If you are of a specific sexual orientation, get over it, be proud of who you are, because in the end, you are not going to change, and life will be so much better for you in the end. A life of happiness is better than a life in the closet. Don't be fake about who you are. Love yourself first! You can't please everyone. The laws of this country should reflect what everyone already knows. Marriage is one of love and devotion for one persons whom you are with. Happiness shouldn't be excluded from a certain base of people. Equality is the only way, and learning to accept one for the person they are is very important. Everyone knows what the laws are and what exceptable and whats not. This country has more laws about not doing things than not. The next one might be secure that happiness. Live every moment as if it were your last, and try to remain as young in spirit as you choose.

    November 1, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. AM , Minnesota

    HAHA, what a shock...NOT.

    I think all these super conservative anti-gay Republicans are all at least a little gay curious! :O

    November 1, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. RuthieM

    How is it a party that runs on 'conservativism' and 'anti-gay' and 'pro-life' are always getting caught with their pants down? They remind me of the Catholic Priests with their sex abuse scandals - preaching one thing but doing another. I think that's what happens when you really say one thing but do and believe another, when you're really a hyprocrite behind the mask. Maybe the republican party needs to 'lighten up' and stop running a campaign, a party, on lies, secrets and videotapes but on Truth, Justice and the Sexual Way.

    November 1, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. James, Phoenix AZ

    James, Your missing the point – It's the Republican Party Platform that lacks critical thinking and your part of the problem. So just take your lumps or work to reform your party's stance regarding "other people's business" .

    Posted By John from America : November 1, 2007 2:07 pm

    ----–

    Ok John, what Republican Platform issue must be reformed?

    Gay Marriage? All the leading democrats are against it but it's a Republican problem?

    Promoting Families? Is there something inherently wrong with suggesting an intact family (mom and dad) provide the BEST opportunity to raise healthy well-adjusted kids. It's not the ONLY way ... or that divorced families or blended families are bad. Years of research and tons of data suggest the intact-family is the better option.

    Lower taxes?
    Smaller Government?
    Judges that follow the Constitution?

    Please do share with us how the fact a Republican State Representative (personally) chose to solicite other men.

    Since Democrats have been dealing with numerous finance scandals – how about we point a finger at the DNC Platform and suggest ALL democrats are dishonest and break finance laws?

    Sound fair to you?

    PS – I'm glad the Wa State Rep decided to resign.

    November 1, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    I wonder when Hillary's affair with her staffer Huma Abedin will be picked up by any of the liberal media. I won't be holding my breath.

    November 1, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Ugh Minneapolis Minnesota

    Boy there's a lot of liberal democrats out here slamming Republicans, but they're also slamming gays in the same breath. I find THAT hypocritical! Democrats just want the gay vote. They don't seem to really care about gay human beings. If I were gay, I'd be careful about thinking that Democrats have my back. Heck – I'd be inclined to research ALL of the candidates to see who has consistently defended what I believe in and not just for votes, but as true defenders of the Constitution. Check out Ron Paul.

    November 1, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Jim, Oakland, CA

    Who really cares? It's just more conservative "Republican values" & “Republican hypocrisy” I wonder how Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity will spin this one from their private jets…

    November 1, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Rev. Damon Pierson San Francisco, Ca

    I am no longer surprised by anyone who somes out of the closet. It is an epidemic in the US that people that are gay will not come out and say that they are gay. Then when they get caught they continue to deny the truth. Be who you are and if you have to lie about who you are then you are admitting there is something wrong with who you are.

    November 1, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Rob, Battle Ground, WA

    Nothing kills me more than these "conservative" lawmakers who are telling me how to live my life, yet they do the complete opposite. I am a happily married straight man who firmly believes that if you preach it then live it. Do not throw stones if you live in a glass house. These lawmakers make me sick.

    November 1, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Randy, Dallas, TX

    Come out, come out, whereever you are. American hypocrisy and denial surrounding homosexuality continuing to unfold. He's been lying his ass off to everyone just like the others and although it is painful as hell to his friends and family (because of the lying) hopefully he will find a victory in personal freedom that comes from discovering HONESTY. So you were born with an attraction to the same sex. So what?! Innate characteristics in sexuality is not what defines maturity and character!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Joe, Philadelphia, PA

    Get off the high horse, democrats. Politicians lie, republican, democrat, inbetween. Stop pretending the democrats are any better. They're all liars, all thieves and we'd all be better off without them. Hypocracy is synonymous with Politician. I see plenty of democrat hypocrits, so lets stop pretending that the republicans have any form of corner on that market.

    November 1, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Joe, Maryland

    Interesting comments. Republican enthusiasts v. the Democrat enthusiast. Democrats put down Republicans; Republicans put down Democrats. In another ticker CNN has pitted African Americans against White Americans. Whose right; whose wrong? Fight, fight – fight! Speak aloud you all. Cheer on your bullish side of the issue. Segregate and split this country apart more. Simply ridiculous children.

    November 1, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Asad, Atlanta GA

    What's most disturbing is the "unprotected" part.

    November 1, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Ed, LA, CA

    Sounds "fishy" After all the recent "Craig" news, think Rep Curtis would be more cautious. Whatever, happened to hiring a high class escort?

    November 1, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. geewhizz, San Francisco, CA

    What, no torture? He's not really a Republican unless there was a little consensual waterboarding.

    November 1, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "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 . . . find joy when someone in our military dies"

    – – – –

    Claiming that Democrats find joy in the death of our soldiers is a mindless delusion for anyone who actually could believe that. It is the Democrats that are fighting to bring our soldiers home as soon as possible. It they didn't care about our brave soldiers, the easiest thing to do would be to say "Who cares? Let them stay in Iraq and die".

    The group who actually finds joy in soldiers' deaths is not Democrats, but the God-fearing far RIGHT-WING fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church. They advocate and celebrate death to all our soldiers to punish Americans because there is homosexuality. It is religious zealots who are the loudest supporters of death to our soldiers from both the American and Iraqi sides.

    November 1, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. JohnP Chicago,IL

    As a Republican, I support Rudy Giulliani for president. One of the main reasons that I support him is that maybe, we as Republicans, can finally get away from this hypocritical moral values nonsense and focus on the things that are really important. Why are we so obcessed with men who love each other when there are so many men who want to kill each other? Can we focus on intelligence, bridge and infrastructure malfunctions instead of wardrobe malfunctions? Protect us from the Bin Ladens of this world, not the Hugh Hefners. Even if Rudy looses the general election, his leadership as a candidate may be what turns the GOP back to the party that I originally joined. Lower taxes, stronger defense and SMALLER GOVERNMENT!

    November 1, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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