Ken Cuccinelli Stands By Claim Gay People Are Destroying Their Souls

I used to think Republicans were shooting themselves in the foot by nominating regressive candidates and airing extremist opinions. Well, I take that back. They are shooting themselves in the face.

In the most recent Virginia gubernatorial debate between Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, Cuccinelli reaffirmed his extreme beliefs about the LGBT community and did not take back comments he made in the past labeling LGBT Virginians, among other things, soulless and self-destructive. 

"My personal beliefs about the personal challenges of homosexuality haven't changed," Cuccinelli said, after basically ignoring a barrage of questions from his opponent about controversial comments he'd made in the past.

Exactly what are these comments lurking in Cuccinelli's past? Honestly, they are almost too numerous to count, as the Republican's past is one that is, for someone who is so frightened of sex, filled to the brim with statements and controversies concerning sex.

Cuccinelli has repeatedly reaffirmed his support for legislation that restricts the sexual behavior of consenting adults. He has expressed spotty support for legislation banning oral sex between everyone, even married couples (Virginia's "Crimes Against Nature" statute), and full support for legislation banning heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, trying (successfully) to defeat an effort to repeal a Virginia law making consensual sodomy a felony. Perhaps most strikingly, Cuccinelli issued an advisory opinion implying that it is okay, even a good thing, for colleges and universities to be able to discriminate against LGBT students — an opinion that was called "reprehensible" by one of his Republican colleagues.

Regarding whether or not it is moral for government to be in one's bedroom, Cuccinelli said, "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." 

He added that homosexual acts don't "comport with natural law." 

Cuccinelli previously had tried, unsuccessfully, to shoot down a resolution commending a Richmond-based LGBT charity, explaining, "When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul."

Cuccinelli's continuing anti-gay comments are unfortunate: a relic of the past. For it is becoming more and more evident that in order to win future votes, Republicans need to drop their social agenda. Why? Because on social issues, they have, for the most part, lost. More and more Americans are supporting gay marriage; more and more Americans support abortion. The real mine for Republicans is not in conservatism but in libertarianism, a philosophy that retains their economic platform (economic freedom) while adopting the liberal stance on social issues (social freedom), all the while appealing to tons of young people.

There probably won't be room for Cuccinelli or his ilk in this hypothetical future Republican party. Good riddance!

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Michael Shammas

Second-year Harvard Law student, politico, Breaking Bad fan, cynical idealist, coffee addict, & Duke sports fanatic. Contact me at mshammas@jd16.law.harvard.edu.

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