Letter: Out of Touch
January 1-7, 2002
222 South Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
In pointing out that the weasels who pass for elected officials in Virginia
say privately that they support repealing Virginia’s sodomy law but refuse
to address it publicly, Hawes Spencer fails to mine a rich vein of evidence
that legislators are woefully out of step with their constituents [Update:
"Stiff penalty," December 18].
In January 2001, Rasmussen Research, an independent survey firm, conducted
a statewide poll of likely Virginia voters on this precise topic. The poll
found that, across the board, Virginians want the sodomy law repealed, and
that legislators who support repeal will not be adversely affected at the
This is true for Democrats, Republicans, and independents; it is true for
men and women; it is true for whites and blacks—and, contrary to Spencer’s
snide comment about Republicans’ "claims" to be libertarian, the
GOP grassroots showed clear consistency in their view that government should
stay out of the private lives of citizens.
When asked, "Should it be against the law for a married couple to have
oral sex in the privacy of their own home?" 78.9 percent of Republicans
answered "no" (81.7 percent overall).
Survey participants were asked whether they would vote to re-elect a
legislator who supports sodomy reform. Overall, 82.9 percent of Virginians
said that they would either be more likely to vote for that representative, or
it would have no impact on their vote; 83.5 percent of Republicans answered
the same way, as did 77.5 percent of Democrats.
In other words, state legislators who vote to repeal the sodomy law would
have little or nothing to worry about in their re-election bids. The fear they
cite is a red herring.
Richard E. Sincere, Jr., Charlottesville [GLILGuy@aol.com]
The author serves on the national committee of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
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