Ken Cuccinelli Fights to Keep Anti-Gay Law, Says It's For the Children

Keep Virginia kids safe! … by upholding an unconstitutional anti-sodomy law. That’s state Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s latest campaign strategy. 

On the new website launched by Cuccinelli’s campaign this Wednesday, the candidate urges the Supreme Court to uphold what he calls the “Anti-Child Predators Law.” According to the site, “90…sexual predators in neighborhoods across the commonwealth…could come off Virginia’s sex offender registry if a Virginia law used to protect children is not upheld.”

The law Cuccinelli is actually referencing is Virginia's Crimes Against Nature Law, which bans oral and anal sex between two consenting individuals. In the case of “a 47-year-old man soliciting a 17-year-old girl,” as written on the website, the law was actually struck down by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling was decided based on the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which held that states could not criminalize private sex of any sort between two consenting adults.

So how is this related to kids? Unsurprisingly, Cuccinelli’s new website isn’t clear. It only briefly mentions one case, the one regarding the 47-year-old man, the same case that found the law to be unconstitutional in the first place. While the language on the website portrays the girl as a vulnerable victim, the fact of the matter is that she acknowledged the sex as consensual.

It is absolutely crucial that we protect our children from sexual predators, but not through laws that violate our basic individual freedoms. In the state of Virginia, rape, statutory rape, and child molestation are already illegal. It is even a crime for “an adult to have intercourse with someone 15 to 17, if it ‘contributes to the delinquency of a minor.’” While that charge is not a felony, if Cuccinelli truly believed it to be insufficient, he can protect minors by advocating for raising the age of consent from 15 to 18. Instead, by insisting that the courts uphold a law that has long been deemed unconstitutional, Cuccinelli is not fooling anyone in his attempt to carry out his personal anti-gay agenda.

In his words, “My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that.” His words have not gone without action. As a Virginia state senator, he voted against a bill that would have altered the anti-sodomy law to no longer cover private consensual acts between adults. Now in his gubernatorial campaign, he has championed support for the law again...for the kids, of course.  

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Nika Duan

Nika is a Junior at Duke University studying Political Science and Economics. She's a news junkie, Victorian literature lover, and NPR addict.

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