Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has asked a court to revisit its decision to throw out the state’s sodomy law as unconstitutional, a move his Democratic opponent called “divisive” and “ideological” Wednesday.
A representative from Cuccinelli’s office filed a petition with the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia back on March 26. The Washington Blade reports that a three-panel judge ruled against a section of Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” statute earlier that month. The statute outlawed sodomy between consenting adults, gay or straight, which the court ruled unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas.
The 2003 case was a landmark decision that struck down a sodomy law in Texas and, by extension, thirteen other states. The decision made same-sex sexual activity legal in every state, and legalized a form of mixed-sex activity that many heterosexual couples enjoy. The decision overturned a prior decision made in the 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick, which did not find a right to sexual privacy.
Talking Points Memo reports that the Virginia case in question involved a man who solicited oral sex from a minor. Cuccinelli’s office asserts that the Supreme Court decision does not apply to cases involving minors. The majority opinion given by the 4th Circuit Court state that a new law outlawing sodomy between an adult and a minor would likely be constitutional, but that begs the question: Why would such a law be necessary? Sexual conduct between adults and minors is already taboo.
Virginia’s attorney general is also the Republican nominee for governor, and his opponent’s campaign did not hesitate to jump into the issue.
“This is just another example of Ken Cuccinelli ignoring the economy and instead focusing on his divisive ideological agenda,” a Terry McAuliffe spokesman told Talking Points Memo.
Cuccinelli has developed quite the conservative reputation for himself. He sued the federal government against the federal health care law and opposed the federal government’s lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial “Show Me Your Papers” immigration reform. He urged Virginia colleges and universities not to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in anti-discrimination policies.
The election between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe will take place on November 5.