Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Outlaw Oral Sex

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is also the Republican candidate for governor of that state, launched a website this week in support of his efforts to reinstate the Commonwealth’s “crimes against nature” law. Though the law, which was found unconstitutional, bans oral and anal sex between consenting adults, Cuccinelli swears that his only motivation is to protect children from sexual predators. His new website,, includes a map of the state with teardrops marking the location of 90 sexual predators. The website asserts that unless this law is upheld, these offenders will come off the list, endangering children all over Virginia.

Some aspects of the law in question deal with prostitution, public sex, and acts other than those between consenting adults. Other sections, however, clearly make certain, common, sexual behaviors criminal regardless of who is involved. The law reads, in part, “If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

Anti-sodomy laws such as this one often have been used against homosexual men engaging in consensual sex. In the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court found these laws to be an unconstitutional violation of the due process clause. Like many states, Virginia kept its law on the books despite this ruling. In 2004, there was a bipartisan effort in the Virginia general assembly to rework the law—by keeping the parts dealing with prostitution and nonconsensual sex but removing the others—to bring it in line with the Lawrence decision. Cuccinelli, who served in the state senate at the time, voted against these changes.

The state continued to prosecute adults under some provisions of the crimes against nature law until last March, when a three-member panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down the law as unconstitutional in a case involving a 47-year-old man who had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The court found that since the law was unconstitutional in all circumstances, it could not be used to convict the 47-year-old. As attorney general, Cuccinelli filed a petition asking for the full 15 members of the court to review the decision. The petition argued that “a reasonable state court could conclude that Lawrence did not wholly invalidate Virginia’s sodomy statute.”

This is essentially the argument Cuccinelli continues to make as he runs for governor. He is suggesting that only the crimes against nature law can possibly protect young people against sexual predators and that as such it needs to be reinstated. It is unclear how he plans to get past the law’s unconstitutionality, nor is it clear why he is not instead working to create new laws with the same goals. Cuccinelli says that his intention is not to use the law against consenting adults, but ThinkProgress points out that it’s hard to take him at his word given his past comments on homosexuality in particular. In 2009, Cuccinelli told a newspaper, “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. … They don’t comport with natural law.”

Playing up parents’ fears of sexual predators may get Cuccinelli some support—perhaps until those same parents realize the law could make aspects of their own sex lives illegal.

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  • fiona64

    The only way to enforce this kind of absurdity is via voyeurism. It really is no one’s business but the involved parties when it comes to sexual activities between consenting adults.

    • cjvg

      That is probably why he wants this law so badly, he is trying to create his own dream job (government sanctioned paid voyeur)

      Or maybe it is because if he can’t have any, he was going to make damn sure no one else was going to have fun either

  • HeilMary1

    Does the Cooch realize that such a law would arrest his best buds? — Newt Gingrich and child-free Call-Girl-ista, and Catholic priests?

    • ljean8080

      Mary,where is your proof she was a call-girl?

      • Jennifer Starr

        She was his mistress.

        • HeilMary1

          And she traded sex for Tiffany trinkets.

          • goatini

            And he made phone calls to his wife from the illicit non-marital bed.

  • HeilMary1

    Does the Cooch realize his law would arrest his buds — Newt Gingrich and priests?

  • Ella Warnock

    Oooh, it’s all for the children. Riiiight. That’s how they always explain taking freedom and autonomy away from adults, isn’t it?

  • BioWonk

    is the asshat who has wasted taxpayer money putting on a witchhunt
    against climate scientist Michael Mann for “fraudulent use of taxpayer
    money”.The “anti-sodomy” laws are nothing but an attempt to circumvent the DOMA

    In both cases, as well as obstructing the EPA & joining in the
    failed suit against the ACA, he is trying to put on a show for the
    Teahadists in VA.

  • dagobarbz

    “Won’t somebody think of the children????”

    Setting aside the Helen Lovejoyesque slogan, let’s look at what he’s REALLY trying to do. If they can’t outlaw gays, they can at least outlaw them things they do to each other, and I am sure this Cucci has given it a lot of thought, coupled with possibly a lot of lotion and kleenex, cuz you KNOW this is how these Rape-publicans roll!

    Problem is, in the mind of Missionary Position Only and for procreation mind you, oral and anal might be strange and exotic things regular people just don’t do. Regular people lie on top of each other and make huffing noises until hubby is finished.

    That’s the only logical explanation for trying to ban varied sexual activities. Now, you can either thump for small government, in which case BUTT THE HELL OUT OF MY BEDROOM, or admit that you’re striving for a repressive theocracy. At least be honest about who you really are.

  • HMax53

    What? A MALE wants to outlaw oral sex? And, then be elected governor? LOLOLOLOL! He wont get the first male supporter! I hope he volunteers to lead the way! (I see a job here! Hmm. I wonder. Would he supply a uniform? Badge? Goggles? Camera? I can just see it now…Proof on InstaGram.) This guy’s hilarious! Can’t wait till the nighttime comedians have at him.

    • liberaldem

      Cuccinelli isn’t going to pass up an opportunity to shore up his hard right political base. The disturbing prospect is that he could win, and continue his crusade against anyone whom he deems immoral.

  • AD Bunting

    Ummmm….isn’t child abuse already against the law?

    • HeilMary1

      You’ll never catch him making priests and fellow Teabangenitals follow such laws.

  • LittleMissMellaril

    Great, I hope the dumbass follows his own law!

  • ron

    another nazi trying to out something because nobody will do it for him