It is safe to say there are very, very few Americans who would be in favor of the government intruding in their personal lives so long as they were not breaking any laws. Indeed, Republicans lead the charge to keep government from interfering in people’s lives, except of course, when they want to control women’s reproductive health. There have been plenty of suggestions that what Republicans really want to control is when a woman has sex, and for what purpose, but it is hardly what they would say if they were asked outright. However, it is beginning to appear that controlling sex is behind the perpetual intrusion into women’s lives and bodies, and in Virginia, the attorney general is going to court to control everyone’s sexual relations and criminalize what he calls “Crimes Against Nature.”
In 2003, the United States Supreme Court ruled that laws banning and criminalizing consensual gay sex was unconstitutional, but in Virginia the prohibition was never expunged from the law. In March, the 4th Circuit Appeals court struck down Virginia’s “Crime Against Nature” law citing the 2003 Supreme Court decision that invalidated state laws that make any sexual activity between consenting adults a crime. A legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia said “It is shameful that Virginia continued to prosecute individuals under the sodomy statute for 10 years after the Supreme Court held that such laws are unconstitutional,” and hoped “this ruling brings an end to such prosecutions.” Fanatical Christian extremist, gubernatorial candidate, and Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli does not agree and is appealing the ruling before the full 4th Circuit’s panel of 15 judges to adjudicate and rule to criminalize sexual relations he objects to. The case in question involved consensual, heterosexual oral sex, but Cuccinelli refuses to accept the ruling and wants the full panel of judges to prohibit consensual oral and anal sex between gay and heterosexual couples because he considers them crimes against nature.
Cuccinelli claims that his desire to prohibit certain types of sexual relations has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and he has a point when one considers that in Cuccinelli’s bible world, consensual heterosexual oral sex is a crime against nature. However, a year after the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that states could not make oral sex between consenting married couples a felony, a bipartisan group in Virginia backed a bill to adjust Virginia’s Crimes Against Nature law to comply with the High Court ruling. Cuccinelli opposed and helped kill the bill and in 2009 he said he supported prohibitions on sexual behavior between consenting adults. He said, “My view is that homosexual acts, are intrinsically wrong. And I think it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. They don’t comport with natural law.”
According to the National Center on Health Statistics, if Virginia’s bans on oral and anal sex between consenting adults were applied nationally, 90% of men and women in the United States between the age of 25 and 44 would be criminals. In Virginia, with 64% of the population of 8 million people between the ages of 18 and 65, the state could not possibly house millions of heterosexual, gay, married, or single people Cuccinelli claims are committing crimes against nature (read against bible edicts) in the privacy of their own bedrooms. A violation of Crimes Against Nature carries a penalty of between one and five years in prison for “engaging in oral and anal sex between consenting adults, gay or straight, married or single, and makes such carnal acts a felony.” It is no small wonder the Supreme Court ruled against anti-sodomy laws, but considering Cuccinelli’s hardline Christian fanaticism, it is unsurprising he is campaigning to police married, unmarried, gay, and heterosexual couples to control what they do in the privacy of the own bedrooms.
Cuccinelli is the man who was offended by state-issued lapel pins his staff wore because they were replicas of the state’s 1776 state seal featuring Virtus, the Roman goddess of bravery and military prowess because the statue’s left breast was exposed leading him to demand a new version that covered the bosom so it was “a little more virtuous.” The devout Christian also claimed he had the power to “install decorations on public lands celebrating “the birth of Jesus Christ“—so long as they’re mixed with secular items such as candy canes and snowflakes,” and he advised Virginia’s public universities and colleges against extending nondiscrimination protections to gays and lesbians. Now he is appealing the 4th Circuit to give their blessing to prohibitions on sex between gays and heterosexuals, married or not, after he claimed in 2010 his primary job was “defending Virginians against an out-of-control and overreaching federal government; I’m not going to step aside and not do my job.”
Most Americans would agree that criminalizing sex between consenting adults, married or unmarried, gays or heterosexuals, in the privacy of their own bedrooms, is the epitome of government overreach, but Cuccinelli and his ilk do not consider imposing bible morality on the people overreach or government intrusion. His own words that he is “not going to step aside and not do his job” informs a fanatical religious extremist who feels a conviction to force Americans to be “a little more virtuous” according to his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court is the law of the land, and they ruled that what transpires between two consenting adults in private is protected by the 14th Amendment of the ultimate law; the United States Constitution. Cuccinelli’s problem, like so many evangelical fundamentalists, is that as self-appointed religious stewards of morality, their beliefs supersede the law of the land and regardless if it is baby Jesus displays on public land, or criminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults, the Supreme Court and U.S. Constitution are secondary to archaic Jewish dispensations men like Cuccinelli still believe are the supreme law of the land.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.