Virginia Republicans are certainly dedicated to outlawing sex. First, former (thankfully) Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli expressed his desire to bring back sodomy laws, despite the Supreme Court striking those laws down, because being gay “doesn’t comport with natural law.” Now state Sen. Thomas Garrett has introduced a bill that would make oral and anal sex between teenagers a felony.
In the charming terminology of Garrett’s proposed measure, the law would apply to anyone who “carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge.” It explicitly exempts adults having sex in private, but in doing so makes it clear the law applies to anyone who is not an adult, i.e., teenagers 17 and younger.
Of course, the proposal is riddled with ridiculous inconsistencies. two 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl can get married in Virginia but they would be felons if they had something other than vaginal sex, which is not criminalized. An adult who engages in “genital sex” with a 15- to 17-year-old is currently subject to a misdemeanor offense. It’s clearly the “by the anus or by the mouth” part that makes Garrett want to bring back the Scarlet Letter.
Garrett tried to justify his bill by saying he is ‘trying to protect Virginia children from child predators.” If that was his impetus, however, he could have chosen to introduce a bill about child abuse instead.
And it wouldn’t be complete if Garrett didn’t complain that he’s the victim here. ”Our office has been inundated with extremely unsavory telephone calls and emails,” Garrett said. Not nearly as unsavory as the bill itself, we suspect.
Photo credit: Virginia Senate Republican Caucus