RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has launched a website to build support for his fight to keep the state’s sodomy laws on the books, and to attack Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
The website, vachildpredators.com, allows people to enter their zip code and see the sex offenders convicted of sodomy violations in their area.
The Cuccinelli campaign says those listed will be removed form the sex offenders list and endanger children if Virginia’s sodomy laws are not upheld.
“The above map shows only 90 of the sexual predators in areas across the Commonwealth that have been convicted under the law that has protected children,” states the site. “These are the 90 predators that could come off Virginia’s sex offender registry if the Virginia law used to protect children from predators is not upheld.”
Cuccinelli’s fight to keep sodomy laws on Virginia’s books come 10 years after sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Earlier this year, a Virginia man who was accused of sodomy after having sex with two minor girls challenged the law in federal court.
In a 2-1 decision in March, a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that Virginia’s law against oral and anal sex is unconstitutional.
Virginia’s so-called “crimes against nature” law was the basis for a 47-year-old man’s conviction of criminal solicitation. In the appeal, Cuccinelli claimed the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas applied only to sex acts involving consenting adults, not those between an adult and a minor.
Article continues belowBut the opinion written by U.S. District Judge Robert King suggested Virginia’s General assembly should remove the existing sodomy law, which criminalizes gay sex, or re-define it.
“The anti-sodomy provision does not mention the word ‘minor,'” wrote King, “nor does it remotely suggest that the regulation of sexual relations between adults and children had anything to do with its enactment.”
Lambda Legal’s Gregg Nevins said that the solution is not keeping an unconstitutional law, but rather working with the state’s general assembly to develop laws that address the issues.
“It’s not a ruling that Virginia can’t have a sodomy law, but they can’t rely on the old sodomy law which … just says ‘anyone who has oral or anal sex is a felony.’ That dog wont hunt,” said Nevins. “They need to give up the fight and pass a legitimate law if that’s what they want.”
In a statement announcing the sex-offender search, the Cuccinelli campaign called out McAuliffe on his lack of comment on the issue, saying McAuliffe, when asked about his stance on Cuccinelli’s sodomy fight, said “I don’t know anything about that … I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”
In June, after failing to get a second hearing at the district court, Cuccinelli appealed the overturning of Virginia’s sodomy laws to the U.S. Supreme Court.