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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A.G. Cuccinelli is Using Fear and Hysteria to Justify Virginia’s 10 year Refusal to Amend Our Anti-Sodomy Law


 

UPDATES

#1-  Attorney General Cuccinelli's vindictive website is up, I refuse to link to it from this blog but anyone that is interested can find it from this article.

Mary

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Cuccinelli Launches Website in Support of Anti-Sodomy Law, July 16. 2013
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/virginia-gubernatorial-candidate-ken-cuccinelli-launches-website-support-anti-sodomy-law


#2- Watch MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell dissect the Virginia Sodomy/Crimes Against Nature Statute and Cuccinelli's misleading and false claims.

It's a shame Mr. O'Donnell did not go into how the 90 RSO's would not "just be removed from the Virginia Sex Offender Registry" as claimed on Cuccinelli's new website and to the media. It would take each and everyone of them filing a habeas corpus which would have to go through the courts and we've all seen the Norfolk 4's denial on that. Cuccinelli's claim that these 90 Virginians are just going to be released from the registry is completely false and he knows it. But hype and fear is what incenses the public and wins elections!

 

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Original Post

Ever since Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli began his Federal challenge (see article below) to keep Virginia’s anti-sodomy statute I’ve been saying the Virginia General Assembly could have fixed the issue of adults and minors engaging in oral or anal sex by changing the verbiage in the statute years ago. But NO the Commonwealth must be perceived as conservative, as anti ANY sex that isn’t “regular” and if it looks like the state is anti-homosexual, well that’s a bonus! 

Well the refusal over the last 10 years to edit/amend Virginia’s unconstitutional statute could now backfire against the entire Commonwealth who’s Prosecutors (Commonwealth Attorney’s) kept using it as the main charge with adults who had contact with minors in such a manner.  

So what does Cuccinelli do? His Campaign-for-Governor announces they are creating a website or a link (I haven’t been able to find it yet) that lists the 90 Registered Sex Offenders who were convicted under the unconstitutional statute because they might have a case against the state to have their convictions overturned. Many of these 90 RSO’s are living their lives in our communities; they are compliant and there are attempting to provide housing and food for their families. All their information can be found on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry, but our “Governor-Wanna-Be” is now using these 90 citizens’ photos, names, residential addresses and employment information as fuel to the fire he wants to keep burning under the guise of public safety.

These 90 RSO’s are just a “stepping stone” for Mr. Cuccinelli, he doesn’t care that by holding them up as examples of Virginia’s unconstitutional convictions could very well result in them losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their families who are now put under even a brighter spotlight than the registry already creates or that their property might be damaged, they could be verbally harassed or worse. All because some vigilante believes this political hype and decides to take matters into their own hands. An RSO who has a job, has a home and can provide for their family who gives that offender support and love is an offender who registers and so the public know who they are and where they are. But an offender with no job, no home and no support is an offender that the public does not of their whereabouts and is an offender that has nothing to lose meaning they are much more likely to commit a new crime, creating a new victim. 

By holding these 90 Virginians up as an example Mr. Cuccinelli has actually put a target on their backs. Either as a failed re-entry back into society or as a public punching bag by anyone who believes they might get removed from our registry. 

I personally feel that this shameless action by Mr. Cuccinelli is harassment and intimidation against the 90 Virginians, but I’m not an attorney so I can’t be sure. 

I just hope and pray that none of these 90 Virginians or their family members suffers a backlash based on Mr. Cuccinelli’s reckless political maneuver to appear tough-on-predators. If any of the RSO’s do lose employment, a rental property or worse we will all know it’s not because they’ve been an RSO for years but because Mr. Cuccinelli used them as a sacrifice to justify 10 years of refusing to fix our sodomy statute.  

After all..... their just Registered Sex Offenders, who cares anything about them or their families, certainly not the Virginia Administration? 

Mary  


Cuccinelli looks to go on offense against McAuliffe over Virginia anti-sodomy law
By Ben Pershing, July 16. 2013

When Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II challenged a federal appeals court ruling that deemed the state’s anti-sodomy law unconstitutional, Democrats pounced, accusing the Republican of pursuing an anti-gay agenda. 

Now Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor is looking to turn the tables on opponent Terry McAuliffe, casting it as an issue of protecting children from predators and pushing the Democratic gubernatorial nominee to take a side. 

Cuccinelli’s campaign is launching a Web site Wednesday that shows 90 Virginia sex offenders who have been prosecuted under the state’s anti-sodomy law since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sodomy statutes criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults were unconstitutional. Visitors can enter their Zip code and see “offenders who live or work near you, who may be removed from the Sex Offender Registry if Ken doesn’t win this appeal.” 

McAuliffe, the site says, is “playing politics instead of protecting our children.” 




The Cuccinelli offensive comes as Democrats continue their efforts to portray the Republican nominee as an overzealous conservative advocate on social issues such as abortion, women’s health and gay rights. McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said the sodomy case was another example of Cuccinelli’s “extreme agenda and uncompromising approach.” 

“Everyone supports strong laws to protect children, and, like most Virginians, Terry believes our laws should be updated to both conform with court rulings and allow prosecution of predators,” Schwerin said. 

The debate stems from a March ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that said Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” law, which bans oral and anal sex, was invalid in light of the 2003 Supreme Court decision. The ruling centered on a 2005 case in which a 47-year-old man was convicted of soliciting oral sex from a 17-year-old girl. 

Cuccinelli took the issue to the full 15-judge appellate court in April and in June asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, saying the Virginia law “is not — and cannot be — used against consenting adults acting in private.” 

Rusty McGuire, the Louisa County commonwealth’s attorney, said in an interview Tuesday that he participated in a May conference call with McAuliffe and several other commonwealth’s attorneys in which McAuliffe was asked about his position on the anti-sodomy law. 

“He said, ‘I don’t know anything about that. ... I’ll get back to you tomorrow,’ ” recalled McGuire, a Republican who is backing Cuccinelli in the governor’s race. “Crickets is all I’ve heard since then.” 

McGuire said the court ruling was disastrous because it also undermined several other Virginia anti-predator laws that are related to the sodomy statute. But James Parrish, the executive director of the gay rights group Equality Virginia, noted that the General Assembly has had 10 years since the Supreme Court ruling to fix the sodomy law and had not done so. 

“We agree with the attorney general and do not want child predators out there,” Parrish said, adding that if Cuccinelli thinks the state’s other laws aren’t adequate to prosecute predators, “he needs to introduce language that addresses the problem. ... A blanket sodomy law has no place in Virginia or any other place.” 

In 2004, when Cuccinelli served in the state Senate, he voted against a measure that would have altered the sodomy law to no longer cover private consensual acts among adults. In 2009, he said he believed “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government policy.”


Ben Pershing has covered Congress for The Washington Post since January 2008, previously authoring the “Capitol Briefing” blog and anchoring “The Political Browser” aggregation page. He currently focuses on covering the Congressional delegations from Maryland, Virginia and the District. Before joining the Post, he spent 10 years as a reporter and editor at the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. A Los Angeles native, Pershing is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.  ben.pershing@washpost.com