The partial victory for gays and lesbians at the Supreme Court on Wednesday only places Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Cuccinelli further on the political fringe.
And he’s happy to be there.
The high court decisions came just a day or so after Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, appealed a lower court ruling finding that Virginia’s archaic anti-sodomy law was unconstitutional.
Cuccinelli claims that if the ruling stands, many criminal cases involving underage sex could be affected. But the real impact of his action will be to focus new attention on his stridently conservative views on social issues.
Cuccinelli stated in 2009 that homosexual acts are “intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country, it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society,” he said.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to does not strike down Virginia’s ban on gay marriage. More than half the states have similar laws. But the momentum is growing to challenge them, especially if states try to discriminate against same-sex couples who move in after being legally married elsewhere.
True, many Virginians are conservative in their views on homosexuality and do not back gay marriage. But many Virginians were also against integration back in the day and supported the state’s “massive resistance” plan. But time passed, views changed and the legal overview shifted.
The same is bound to happen in this case. By stubbornly playing his anti-gay card, Cuccinelli will win some voters in November’s election. But such a short view will be ultimately hurtful to Virginia has it tries to attract skilled workers from other places that are more in line with the 21st century.