The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by Virginia Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli to put on hold a lower court ruling that nullified a sweeping anti-sodomy state law.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in a simple order but one that could have a side effect on Cuccinelli’s campaign to become Virgina’s next governor, denied issuing a temporary stay on the ruling while the high court decides whether to hear Cuccinelli’s appeal.
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 for allegedly demanding oral sex from a 17-year-old girl. In the appeal, Cuccinelli claims the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision applied only to sex acts involving consenting adults, not those between an adult and a minor.
But the Fourth Circuit ruled that Virginia could not enforce its law because it makes it a crime for anyone to engage in oral or anal sex, no matter what the facts were in a specific case, reported SCOTUS Blog.
Cuccinelli’s obsession with the sodomy law comes 10 years after sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has become campaign fodder for Democrats who already have accused him and his GOP ticket mates of pursuing an anti-gay, socially divisive agenda.
Article continues belowCuccinelli headlines a trio of anti-gay candidates with a long history of marginalizing and demonizing LGBT people and hopes they will become Virginia’s next state leaders.
Among them as candidate for Lt. Governor is E.W. Jackson, a Chesapeake, Va., minister with a track record of vehemently anti-gay remarks, who has called LGBT people “perverse,” pedophiles, and sick.
Cuccinelli, who opposes marriage equality and workplace protections for LGBT citizens, said in a political debate last month that he stands by previous statements that LGBT people are “soulless” and “self-destructive.”