Another setback for Cuccinelli’s culture war

Another setback for Cuccinelli's culture war
Another setback for Cuccinelli's culture war
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

We talked last week about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the commonwealth’s Republican gubernatorial hopeful, who continues to fight on behalf of Virginia’s anti-sodomy law. Just to close the circle, I should note that his efforts failed miserably.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was denied his request for a rehearing of a decision to overturn the state’s ban on sodomy, in what was in effect a unanimous decision.

Cuccinelli had asked for the full 15-judge 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a decision by a three-judge panel of the court. But none of the judges favored rehearing the case.

The ban in question, which criminalizes sodomy between either gay or straight consenting adults, is part of Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” statute, and was found unconstitutional by the panel.

Cuccinelli had already lost at the 4th Circuit, but he sought what’s called an en banc ruling, asking the entire appellate bench to consider the case. The court this week told Cuccinelli to just go away.

The state A.G., who’s been keenly interested in Virginia’s sodomy statute for many years, could conceivably appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, though there’s really no point – the high court majority has already ruled that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

In related news, Montana’s Republican-run state legislature repealed its sodomy statute this week. It was largely symbolic – these state measures are already unconstitutional, so their presence on the books is practically irrelevant – but the votes in both Montana chambers was nevertheless encouraging given the GOP majority in each.