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Supreme Court Denies Request From Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli To Stay Ruling On Sodomy Law

Ken Cuccinelli
Previously, this past March, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond issued a ruling that declared the state of Virginia's Crimes Against Nature Law to be unconstitutional, citing the decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 during Lawrence v. Texas. The state's blatantly anti-gay attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, took it upon himself to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court has yet to decide whether it will hear the appeal. In the meantime, however, Cuccinelli submitted a request for a stay, postponing the Fourth Circuit Court's decision until after the appeal. 

This past Friday, according to the Washington Blade, Chief Justice John Roberts, acting on behalf of the entire court, denied Cuccinelli's request. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision of whether or not to hear the case either later this year or in early 2014. Until then, Virginia's "Crimes Against Nature Law" will remain un-enforcable. 

The Fourth Circuit Court's decision comes after attorneys attempted to place William Scott MacDonald, a 47-year-old man, behind bars for soliciting oral sex from a 17-year-old girl. Since no sexual acts actually took place, the state attempted to use its "Crimes Against Nature Law" to do the job. Cuccinelli and others argue that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision during Lawrence v. Texas does not apply in cases where one of the (potential) participants is a minor and the other is an adult. The Fourth Circuit Court disagreed, saying that "while the Lawrence decision prohibited Virginia from applying the sodomy law in cases of consensual sex with someone between 15 and 18, it did not prevent the state legislature from enacting laws banning all sex between adults and people in that age range."

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  1. Homosexual sex IS natural... Look in nature, asshat. These are tons of examples of gay penguins, lesbian hummingbirds, bisexual otters.. Whatever. The fact is, it is totally natural and totally no one's business what consenting adults do. If the issue is one of statutory rape of a minor, there are specific laws for that, so to claim this Crimes Against Nature law has anything to do with protecting minors is bull. It has to do with policing and criminalizing oral and anal sex, or sex outside of marriage or anything but missionary style sex for procreation. If you don't want to participate in these types of sexual activities (and I don't buy for a second that he'd turn down a blowjob if it fell in his lap, so to speak), you don't have to, but stop telling others what they can and cannot do with willing partners in the privacy of their own homes.

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Aug 13, 2013 9:13:45 AM

  2. Dear Ken, the Chief Justice, on behalf of the entire Supreme Court, has denied your request. So sit down and shut up already!

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 13, 2013 9:22:16 AM

  3. The more I read about Cuccinelli, the more I rationalize his homophobia as that of a closeted homosexual.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 13, 2013 10:37:27 AM

  4. It's so gross he's using the case of this young girl's sexual harassment as a transparent means to further his homophobic ageda.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 13, 2013 11:52:10 AM

  5. Cuccinelli's defeat would be a HUGE step forward for LGBT rights.

    In 2010 when Virginia voted on it's ban on marriage equality only 35% of registered voters actually bothered to vote. That meant that the majority of those that voted against equality, 19%, decided on marriage equality for the whole state.

    Was it the 19% of the population motivated to vote against equality that cost LGBT their civil rights or was it apathy on the part of those that didn't vote?

    Register. Get your friends to register. Do it early so there's time to deal with SNAFUS. VOTE and make it a priority to make sure your friends and family actually go to vote.

    Posted by: JONES | Aug 13, 2013 11:52:15 AM

  6. Does this bozo really think Kennedy is going to overturn his previous ruling on this?

    Posted by: Kevin | Aug 13, 2013 12:12:32 PM

  7. Technically, when courts strike down laws, they are only suppose to excise the unconstitutional parts and leave the rest standing, but the VA law would require the law to be repurposed to be held constitutional and that is not normally done (it sometimes happens with environmental and insurance regulation. You just can't take the law's language and bend it to fit what he wants to do with it. Unfortunately, there is enough novelty here that it might need yet another SC ruling to settle.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 13, 2013 2:41:06 PM

  8. The man thinks about gay sex way more than any straight man should. Cuccinelli should be slang for butt sex. As a gay Virginian I can only sit back and laugh at how much of an ass he has made himself out to be, wasting taxpayers money on frivolous lawsuits and trying to cover up the bare tit on our state flag.

    Posted by: rbm004 | Aug 13, 2013 2:53:09 PM

  9. @ANON - It depends on the legislation. When I wrote ordinances many years ago as a nonprofit lobbyist, we always included a severability clause that said that if any portion was struck down, the rest of the legislation would remain in effect to the extent possible. But not all bills do that. In fact, some legislation explicitly states the opposite -- that the entire legislation is void if any part was struck down. That's a sort of "poison pill" sometimes added to deter potential litigation against an otherwise popular bill.

    I suspect this sodomy law makes no mention of age. You couldn't really make it apply to only sex with minors by simply excising certain portions. You'd essentially have to rewrite it.

    There were efforts to pass legislation around sexual activities with minors that included sodomy, but the GOP voted it down so that Cuccinelli could pursue his quixotic effort to re-ban gay sodomy.

    Posted by: Kevin_BGFH | Aug 13, 2013 3:41:59 PM

  10. @RBM004 - I totally agree. He seems obsessed with this. Perhaps addicted.

    Posted by: Fox | Aug 13, 2013 6:19:43 PM

  11. Time for Target to pony up some more funds to him.

    Posted by: PDX_Guy | Aug 13, 2013 9:46:14 PM

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