Last edited: February 14, 2005

Sex Law Is No Judging Criteria

The Daily Press, January 16, 2003
7505 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23607

By Jim Spencer

Got together with the wife last weekend. We thought we were expressing our love for each other in the privacy of our bedroom. But according to the Code of Virginia, there’s always a chance we committed a Class 6 felony.

I wanted Virginia Beach Republican Del. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the House of Delegates courts committee, to know that, because he might want to send the prude police to investigate.

McDonnell, a man considering a run for Virginia attorney general, apparently has decided to warm up by appointing himself head of Virginia’s new Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

If you thought such overbearing minions of morality existed only among Afghan extremists, think again. Taliban Bob says Newport News Circuit Judge Verbena Askew may not be fit for reappointment to the bench if she ever violated the state’s crimes-against-nature law.

Revelations of a sex-harassment accusation against Askew by a former female official at the Newport News Drug Court spurred Taliban Bob to this moral high ground. Doesn’t matter that an investigator found "little, if any, credible evidence to support the allegations and substantial credible evidence to support the denial." Doesn’t matter that the accusation—even if true—never involved allegations of touching or kissing, much less anything carnal.

Taliban Bob, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School and a darling of Robertson’s Christian Coalition, assumes that the harassment claim might mean that Askew might be a lesbian. And if she is, McDonnell says, she may not be judicial material. Then, he defends his bigotry by hiding behind the crimes-against-nature law.

Well, here’s what part of that law says:

It says that if you engage in oral sex—in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship—you commit a Class 6 felony, even if you’re consenting adults.

What’s that I hear, gentle reader?

You’re disgusted and uncomfortable with me talking about the deepest, most intimate details of people’s personal lives?

How do you think Askew feels?

Taliban Bob opened this Pandora’s box. So blame him, not me. If Virginia’s moronic, outdated and unenforceable crimes-against-nature law is the standard by which Taliban Bob wants to judge judges, he certainly will have no problem applying the same standard to every one of the judges he is about to recommend for reappointment. Let’s get ‘em all in and make sure they never had oral sex or anal sex or sex with animals or sex with relatives.

Taliban Bob also will want to check all the new judges he’s about to appoint.

And, oh yeah, he’ll definitely want to put the question of crimes against nature to himself and his brothers and sisters in the state legislature.

So let’s schedule a big, old public hearing at the state Capitol in Richmond after the holier-than-you Republicans get through railroading Askew out of her job. The man who would be attorney general obviously believes we need to get our leaders on the record about their sex habits and preferences.

Step on up to the mike, senators and delegates. Let’s see who’s fit to serve. We’re all waiting to hear.

You go first, Taliban Bob.

Ever violated the crimes-against-nature law?

"Not that I can recall," McDonnell told a reporter Tuesday.

Sorry about that, Bob. But you know what? Your prudery and your homophobia say a lot more about your character than Verbena Askew’s.

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