Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has a problem. He doesn’t like sodomy. He says he is just protecting children from predators, but says he doesn’t even want married couples to engage in oral and anal sex.
Ironically, should Cuccinelli win an appeal, it will be Virginia residents taking it in the backside.
Apparently, Cuccinelli is into sodomy only if he is the one doing the sodomizing.
According to Cuccinelli, oral and anal sex are “homosexual acts,” and he said at a Heritage Foundation-sponsored event in 2009 that “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government policy.”
The Virginian-Pilot reported him saying that same year,
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. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.
This reasoning of his is – how shall we say it? – a little bizarre; okay, more than a little. Does this mean that a man going down on a woman or a woman going down on a man are, despite engaging in heterosexual sex, are somehow guilty of a homosexual act?
Whatever we make of this, and despite the supposed Republican opposition – and his own avowed anti-government stance – to government regulation, the couples would become felons.
This is what the law says:
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…
And confusing as that is, it is difficult to see how prohibiting married couples from engaging in sodomy protects any children from predators.
And of course, Cuccinelli isn’t really concerned about predators but with his own narrowly defined sense of morality. He is a religious zealot who wants the Church police in every bedroom ensuring that people use only the approved missionary position. Otherwise, society collapses.
Yes, Cuccinelli is the guy the Founding Fathers warned you about when they wrote the First Amendment.
Of course, the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that anti-sodomy laws which made sexual activity between consenting adults were unconstitutional (Lawrence v. Texas).
And in March of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled that Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” law banning oral and anal sex, is a no-go based on that 2003 decision.
Which sort of leaves Cuccinelli’s metaphorical dingle berries hanging in the breeze. Or so you would think. Cuccinelli has appealed but the facts are pretty clear.
But for ten years nothing was done to change the law. In 2004 an attempt was made – a bipartisan attempt no less – to bring the law into alignment with the Supreme Court ruling, but Cuccinelli helped kill it.
If he was serious about stopping predators, he would have let the changes go through. The only possible reason to oppose those changes was to ensure that consenting adults do not engage in oral and anal sex.
As though this is somehow a personal affront to Cuccinelli. Or maybe he is just jealous. A Virginian-Pilot editorial in 2009 said that “Cuccinelli’s views on reproductive rights don’t align with those of most Virginians,” but really, they don’t align with those of most Americans. They don’t even align with reality.
Cuccinelli is walking down a well-trod path. The Religious Right increasingly tries to rely on arguments about what’s right and wrong based on something they refer to as “nature’s law.” This is a way, I suppose, to reinforce the message of the Bible without appealing to the Bible. As Cuccinelli put it, it makes things “intrinsically” wrong.
But what Republicans call nature’s law is very, shall we say, unnatural.
Nature turns out to be a lot messier than conservatives want to admit. Animal same-sex behavior being a case in point.
Republicans say homosexuality is unknown in nature and that therefore this represents aberrant behavior. But thousands, literally thousands, of animal species engage in homosexual behavior.
Bison do it, domestic cats do it, elephants do it, lions do it, fish do it, reptiles do it, insects do it; even man’s best friend does it.
The solution offered to this conundrum – other than ignoring it altogether – is the clever device known as “gay animal demons.” Yes, demons make those little critters, as religious conservatives like to say of President Obama, be on the down low.
No explanation is offered as to why Satan does this, or why he wants to possess insects nobody is paying much attention to anyway. Maybe he’s a Republican. I think he must be.
To make matters worse for Cuccinelli, animals even engage in oral sex. Apparently, they did not get the memo that its unnatural to do these things in a state of nature. Bats do it, walruses do it, sheep do it, goats and kangaroos do it.
I suppose you can put that down to gay animal demons as well but so far, Cuccinelli has not gone there himself. He just ignores the evidence of our shared reality in order to privilege his biases.
To that end, he unveiled a new website Wednesday as part of his effort to have his Crimes Against Nature law reinstated and at the same time to attack his rival, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
The site quotes Lisa Caruso, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney as saying, “Terry McAuliffe refuses to support Virginia’s appeal to preserve a child-protection statute. He is playing politics and ignoring the clear facts of the case to make a social issues attack on the Attorney General.”
Since the clear facts of the case show that,
- Cuccinelli is wrong in saying sodomy is unnatural (since it occurs in nature); and
- that Cuccinelli’s Crimes Against Nature law violates the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on such laws; and
- that Cuccinelli’s Crimes Against Nature law is itself a “social issues attack” on the people of Virginia rather than an attempt to protect children; therefore,
- it is Cuccinelli who is guilty of playing politics and not only that but of despicably pushing a personal agenda under the guise of protecting children.
But it won’t be the first time we’ve seen a conservative accuse somebody stating the facts of playing politics, and it won’t be the last. The Virginian-Pilot said Cuccinelli “would bring embarrassment to Virginia.” I think it is more factual to say simply that Cuccinelli IS an embarrassment.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.