When news broke Wednesday that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had petitioned the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold the state’s anti-sodomy law, his office explained that his intent was to prosecute sexual predators and “not about sexual orientation.”
However Cuccinelli, who is running for governor this year, has spoken out about why sodomy should not be legal in the past.
In a December 2009 speech TPM has not found previously reported, Cuccinelli said that U.S. statutes should reflect “natural laws” and thus not recognize sodomy.“I got savaged by the Washington Post late in the — I know that’s a shock to everybody here — late in the race for my natural law explanation, or the natural law portion of my explanation, about why homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government policy. And they went berserk over that,” Cuccinelli said at a conservative women’s event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women’s group, shortly after being elected attorney general.
Cuccinelli went on: “We are a natural law country and we have the greatest foundation in the history of the world. And the one sentence you all know, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator’ — and I’m gonna stop right there. That sentence, Dr. Martin Luther King called that our national creed. I think that is a great title for that sentence. It is the foundation in my view, it’s the vision statement for America. And the foundation of that foundation is endowed by their Creator. And if we disconnect from that, we don’t have a rational basis to defend the foundation that we’ve got.”
The remarks came after Cuccinelli had indeed been attacked in the press, including this brutal Virginia-Pilot op-ed, for saying “[H]omosexual 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.”
TPM asked Cuccinelli’s campaign if the attorney general still stands by those remarks on Wednesday but received no answer.
A Washington Times article from 2004 also quoted Cuccinelli, then a state senator, warning that gays want to “dismantle sodomy laws” and “get education about homosexuals and AIDS in public schools.”
In the current case that put this issue back in the spotlight, a 47-year-old man was convicted of criminal solicitation for asking a minor for oral sex — the crime he solicited under Virginia’s anti-sodomy law.
Cuccinelli’s entire speech from the event is archived on the Policy Institute’s website here. The relevant part begins at 25:50.