How VA's Would-Be Gov. Cuccinelli Would Turn Thousands of High School Students Into Felony Sex Offenders

The following was originally published on ThinkProgress.org.


Walk into any eleventh grade classroom in Virginia. If Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) has his way, close to forty percent of the students will be felony sex offenders.

Dahlia Lithwick breaks down the implications of Cuccinelli’s plan in a must-read piece over at Slate. In short, Cuccinelli’s petition asking the Supreme Court to reinstate much of Virginia’s so-called “crimes against nature” law — which criminalizes oral and anal sex — is unlikely to impact adults who have sex with adults because the Court’s previous decision in Lawrence v. Texas held that the Constitution protects non-commercial sexual activity among adults. The tea partying attorney general’s petition, however, largely relies on a line in Lawrence suggesting that underage sexual activity can still be criminalized.

As Lithwick notes, “44 percent of males and 42 percent of females between the ages of 15 and 17 have engaged in oral sex in the United States.” While it’s undoubtedly true that a minority of these teenagers are engaged in oral sex with someone much older, the overwhelming majority of them are partnering with each other. And since Cuccinelli’s proposed rule would make no exception for teens who have oral sex with other teens, every single high school student who does so would become a felon and a sex offender.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.