Supreme Court Gives Go-Ahead to Oral Sex in Virginia

Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Ken Cuccinelli (AP Photo)

Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial race has included debate over the legality of oral and anal sex, which have been upheld by the nation’s highest courts.


The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to consider a lower-court ruling that struck down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law, first passed in 1960, much to the dismay of state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, who is running for governor.


Cuccinelli has defended the state’s “crimes against nature” law, which bans oral and anal sex, claiming it is necessary to prosecute child predators. The conservative Republican and his supporters say the law “is not—and cannot be—used against consenting adults acting in private,” according to The Washington Post.


But gay rights advocates have disagreed with this legal assessment, while the Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, has portrayed Cuccinelli as an extremist on social issues.


The Supreme Court in 2003 struck down sodomy statutes criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults, ruling that such laws were unconstitutional. Based on that ruling, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in March that Virginia’s statute was unconstitutional.


Virginia lawmakers have not yet amended the law so that it does not apply to consenting adults.


Opponents of Cuccinelli say the GOP nominee wants to use the outdated statute to punish homosexuals. They point to remarks he made in 2009 that “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government policy.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Cuccinelli’s Appeal of Ruling Against Va. Sodomy Law (by Ben Pershing, Washington Post)

Supreme Court Smacks Down Ken Cuccinelli’s Sodomy Law Appeal (by Josh Israel, ThinkProgress)


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