The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a decision by a lower court striking down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law, which Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) had hoped to keep in place.
Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, and other proponents of the law argue that it is necessary for combatting sexual predators of children, according to The Washington Post.
Cuccinelli has also added in defending the law that it “is not — and cannot be — used against consenting adults acting in private.”
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that sodomy statutes that criminalized sexual interaction between two consenting adults are unconstitutional. That ruling moved a panel of three judges for the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule in March that Virginia’s anti-sodomy law was unconstitutional. The ruling by the 4th Circuit centered on a 2005 case that involved a 47-year-old man seeking oral sex from a 17-year-old girl. Cuccinelli appealed the case to the Supreme Court.
“This case was about using a law that has been repeatedly upheld by Virginia courts to protect a minor from a 47-year-old repeat sexual predator,” Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said according to the Post. “We appealed to the Supreme Court to save a tool Virginia law enforcers use regularly to prosecute child predators. As we’ve said from the beginning, this case had nothing to do with sexual orientation or private acts between consenting adults.”