The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to re-establish the ban on oral and anal sex in his state.
In March, Cuccinelli had appealed to the Supreme Court after a three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had declared Virginia’s anti-sodomy law to be unconstitutional. But on Monday, the Supreme Court said that it would refuse to hear the case.
Cuccinelli had argued that the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which banned anti-sodomy laws, had not applied to cases involving minors. But if Cuccinelli had succeeded, experts said that he would have also effectively banned oral and anal sex for adults.
“As we’ve said from the beginning, this case was never about sexual orientation or private acts between consenting adults,” Cuccinelli spokesperson Brian Gottstein insisted to The Washington Post on Monday. “Virginia’s law couldn’t be used against consenting adults acting in private. It only applied to offenses committed against minors, against non-consenting or incapacitated adults, or in public.”
Cuccinelli is the Republican Party’s nominee for the Virginia’s governor’s race. He faces off against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in November.