Commonwealth Still Reaches Into Bedrooms
Daily News Leader, January 26, 2001
Chalk up another victory for the forces of ignorance. Virginia continues to
have something in common with Puerto Rico, Alabama, Mississippi, and 16 other
Sodomy the practice of oral or anal sex between consenting adults
remains a felony in the Commonwealth. For those unaware of the consequences,
the maximum penalty for engaging in either practice is a fine of $2,500 plus
A bill seeking to repeal or scale back the states "crimes against
nature" law was introduced again this year by Del. Brian Moran,
D-Alexandria. Morans proposal would have made consensual sodomy a crime
only if an adult solicited a minor. The bill died in the House Courts of
Justice Committee 12-9.
According to a news item in The Associated Press, opponents of the bill
cited the states interest in fighting sexually transmitted diseases. Excuse
us, but arent STDs transmitted just as readily via good old
genital-to-genital heterosexual sex?
Hello? Can you say syphilis, boys and girls? Gonorrhea? Herpes simplex?
And, according to a report published in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot,
repealing the ban against sodomy would encourage homosexuality and
"unravel the moral fabric of the Commonwealth of Virginia," in the
words of Del. Richard H. "Dick" Black, R-Loudoun.
The Virginia-Pilot article went on to cite an incident from Blackšs youth
when he was briefly kidnapped while hitchhiking by a driver who made
homosexual advances against Black and a friend.
"So Im very sensitive to the web of protections for children and
public decency," he told the Norfolk paper.
Were certainly sorry about this traumatic incident in Blacks early
life, but it sounds more like an indictment of hitchhiking to us. Plus, didnt
Morans bill continue to, as it certainly should, criminalize the
solicitation of sodomy with minors? Third, how in the name of logic is
continuing to make an act of intimacy between consenting adults a crime going
to discourage homosexuality?
Lets just call this law for what it is a bald-faced tool to be used
by those on the Cotton Mather end of the political spectrum to persecute
At least Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas have the courage to
admit the truth in those states, consensual sodomy is a crime only if it
is practiced by homosexuals.
So, Virginia continues in the company of the 13 other states and Puerto
Rico that prefer the sidelong method of discrimination. And, so it will
continue, that is, until some member of the General Assembly is caught in
Then, you can bet itll be decriminalized post haste.
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