The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected Virginia’s anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional. The commonwealth’s state Attorney General, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli, hopes the full appeals court will reconsider.
Although most people think sodomy laws have been unconstitutional since the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli would like to explain why – in his view – that’s not so.
What’s more, he wants the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to agree with him and uphold the constitutionality of Virginia’s sodomy law – which makes anal and oral sex between people of any sex a crime – in the process.
Cuccinelli’s office insists this is not about the far-right Republican’s culture-war agenda, but rather, is about a victim of a serious crime. And at first blush, it may seem like a credible argument – the case in question involves a 47-year-old man, accused of being a sexual predator, who targeted a 17-year-old young woman. The man was charged with violating Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” statute outlawing sodomy.
But since there are already other laws related to sexual assault and sex acts with minors, Cuccinelli’s fight to protect an anti-sodomy law appears to be part of a larger social agenda from a Republican official who’s earned his reputation for extremism.
Indeed, as the Huffington Post noted, in 2010 Cuccinelli urged Virginia colleges and universities to end protections based on sexual orientation, and as a state lawmaker, he opposed a law that would have amended the law to comply with Lawrence, eliminating the provisions dealing with sexual conduct between adults and leaving in place other provisions.
And now Cuccinelli wants folks to believe his fight to leave an anti-sodomy law intact has nothing to do with his anti-gay worldview? To put it mildly, it’s hard to believe.