Ken Cuccinelli, of course, is claiming his move to ask the court to reconsider its decision that Virginia’s anti-sodomy statute is illegal based on a case involving a sexual predator but the attorney general’s past anti-gay actions are sell documented and his claim is dubious at best.
Virignia’s long-standing anti-sodomy statute has little to do with attitudes towards oral sex or other carnal practices between consenting, heterosexual adults. It was aimed from the beginning at finding a way to harass homosexuals and it has been used most of the time for that purpose.
Federal law now declares anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional but Virginia has kept the archaic legislation on the books and it was used in a case where a 47-year-old man — a combat veteran with post traumatic stress syndrome — asked a 17-year-old girl for oral sex
The U.S. Appeals court struck down the conviction in March, noting that Virginia’s use of the anti-sodomy law violated a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that declared the law anti-gay and unconstitutional. Virginia is one of 18 states that still has the law on its books and still uses it — as in this case — in violation of federal law.
In one of his arguments, Cuccinelli called oral sex “unnatural” and “against the laws of nature.” While that is an argument of morality, not law, it is also subject to debate by consenting adult couples who may or may not practice the act as part of normal sexual relations. Virginia calls its anti-sodomy law the “Crimes Against Nature” act.
Public opinion polls show Virginians split over the issue of gay rights but surveys on sexual attitudes in the Old Dominion show a strong preference for oral sex among consenting adults. A poll in 2001 by Rasmussen Research found 81.7 percent of Virginians though oral sex should be legal for married couples and 65.2 percent favored repealing the Crimes Against Nature Act.
So Cuccinelli’s actions raise a legitimate question: Is the attorney general representing the Commonwealth with his overzealous crusade or he is simply substituting his personal prejudices for law?
In the past, the Crimes Against Nature Act was used, with other now long-abandoned bigoted statutes, to try and outlaw a mixed-race marriage in the Old Dominion’s racist crusade against Richard Loving, a white Virginian who married a black woman. In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s actions against the Lovings were unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
At the very least, Cuccinelli’s actions are unconstitutional and at odds with his ultra-conservative supporters who spout Constitutional mantra as holy writ.