Sex sells. Even in governor’s races.
That appears to be what the Democratic Party of Virginia was thinking when it distributed racy posters to college campuses, looking to educate students about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s (R) support for the commonwealth’s controversial anti-sodomy law.
As was first reported by the Hampton Roads TV station WAVY, two posters spotted last weekend at Norfolk State University say “Ken Cuccinelli wants to make oral sex a felony” and urge students to vote Nov. 5. One poster says, “Get your head in the game,” while another says, “Don't let Election Day go down without you.”
Both posters say at the bottom that they were paid for by “Education Votes, a project of the Democratic Party of Virginia.” They were distributed to other campuses around the state, too, but DPV spokesman Brian Coy said the party has had a change of heart.
“While we feel Virginians deserve to know the truth about Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme social agenda, we apologize to those who were offended,” Coy said. “We're working to remove these posters from the campuses in question and they will not be used again.”
Garren Shipley, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Virginia, called the posters “par for the course” for Virginia Democrats.
“Not only does it repeat this thoroughly-debunked Terry McAuliffe falsehood,” Shipley said, “but it manages to do it in an even more crass and tasteless way than before . ... Mailers and posters like this are what you get when your candidates have no record to run on. The Democratic Party of Virginia should be ashamed. But they’re probably not.”
The posters are a reference to Virginia’s “crimes against nature” law, which bans oral and anal sex. The U.S Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that laws which criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults are unconstitutional. Based on that decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled this year that Virginia’s statute was unconstitutional.
Cuccinelli has defended the anti-sodomy law as an important tool for prosecuting child predators and appealed that decision. But the U.S. Supreme Court said two weeks ago that it would not hear Cuccinelli’s final appeal. McAuliffe, Cuccinelli’s opponent in the governor’s race, has called for the law to be updated to comport with the 2003 Supreme Court ruling.