Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cuccinelli's Anti-Sodomy Crusade: An Examination

Cooch and his missionary position family. No oral sex, dammit, honey.
If you're wondering exactly what's on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's mind with all this anti-sodomy talk and legal maneuvering, the explanation below (and more fully here at Slate) will give you a good idea. Hint: It's not good.

Cuccinelli’s proposed revision to Virginia’s sodomy law would also mean that those older than 15 can legally consent to sex, yet, have no right of sexual privacy in actually having sex. Or, to put it differently, Virginia could charge any 16- and 17-year-old with felony sodomy simply because they happened to choose oral or anal sex over vaginal sex. That’s a scary prospect for all parents in Virginia, but especially for those parents raising gay teens. Leaving a statute of that sort on the books doesn’t protect children over the age of consent. It criminalizes their choice of conduct and leaves the state to decide when it’s benign.  

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  44 percent of males and 42 percent of females between the ages of 15 and 17 have engaged in oral sex in the United States. Unless you think that teens in Virginia have a higher incidence of chastity than the national norm, this means the law could be used to prosecute children and harass gay children. That the attorney general is not currently doing so, and that he super pinky swears that he has no plans to do so, should provide zero comfort to parents of gay teenagers in Virginia, especially in light of his previous comments, including his explicit platform statements in his 2009 campaign for attorney general.  At that time, he openly opposed all “homosexual acts” because “they’re intrinsically wrong.”

...What is also not a surprise is that Cuccinelli would employ the federal courts to advance a personal moral agenda—and spend a boatload of taxpayer dollars in the process. He did that with his unsuccessful climate-change crusade against UVA. Nor is it surprising that Cuccinelli would use a fruitless and unwinnable lawsuit as a personal campaign ploy. After all, it was Cuccinelli who, during the Affordable Care Act litigation, called a press conference and made the ill-advised decision to bypass the federal court of appeals and file it directly in the Supreme Court; a decision met by the court with a polite “Erm. No.”

It’s hard to tell whether Cuccinelli is now begging federal courts to legislate from the bench because he needs a campaign boost, or because he really does want them to police—on an ongoing, “trust me”—basis, the private sex lives of all Virginians and the sexual conduct of all its teenagers. The first scenario is an example of the sad state of Virginia politics. The second is just plain scary. Either way, begging out-of-touch, elitist, liberal federal courts to make ad hoc decisions about which private sex acts are “unnatural” could not be a less conservative goal.

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