Letter: GOP Should Lead Repeal of ‘Crimes Against Nature’ Law
Free Lance-Star, February 7, 2002
P. O. Box 617, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
A new law to ban "all mention of what is probably Virginia’s most
commonly violated felony" in schools would become moot if the General
Assembly instead passes House Bill 1140, patroned by Republican Del. James
Dillard II of Fairfax County ["House panel OKs limits on sex ed,"
By effectively repealing the "crimes against nature" (CAN)
statute, HB 1140 will legalize private, non-coercive, non-commercial sexual
activity between adults, at the same time that it increases the penalties for
sexual activity in public places.
Repeal of the CAN law has widespread public support, as noted in a
Rasmussen Research survey of Virginia voters released last year, but more than
this, as Del. Dillard said when he introduced this bill, it is "the right
thing to do."
Some argue that the law is rarely, if ever, enforced and thus should be
left alone. But rarely enforced laws—especially those like this one that are
prone to arbitrary and even capricious enforcement—engender disrespect for
the law in general.
Moreover, although this law applies to everyone (married or single, male or
female, gay or straight), it is disproportionately used against gay men and
lesbians. As a result, it unfairly stigmatizes hard-working, law-abiding,
tax-paying Virginia citizens. This is unconscionable.
Republicans who claim to favor limited government and reduced state
intrusion in the private lives of citizens, should exercise leadership on this
issue and get the government out of our bedrooms.
Repealing the CAN statute is the right thing to do, both morally and
- Richard E. Sincere Jr., Charlottesville [GLILGuy@aol.com]
Richard E. Sincere Jr. is a member of the national committee of the
Republican Liberty Caucus.
[Home] [Editorial] [Virginia]