Virginia Legislators Introduce New Anti-Sodomy Law

562832_336467456411546_1508062389_aVirginia state Sen. Thomas Garrett Jr. has introduced an anti-sodomy law to replace a prior law that was struck down in 2013 that targets sex with individuals below the age of 18. This new and improved morality law could criminalize an array of different forms of consensual relations, including oral sex. I recently wrote a column on the welcomed demise of morality codes in the United States.

Garrett’s law would criminalize oral or anal sex with someone under 18 years old is guilty of a felony, punishable by one to five years. That includes consensual sex between teenagers. Garrett insists that he is only trying to protect minors from adult sex predators but his law sweeps beyond such defendants.

The law rekindles the debate over criminalizing teenage sex where one party is 18 and the other is less than 18. Such unions are common and generally consensual.

Virginia currently has a criminal fornication law which appears facially invalid:

§ 18.2-344. Fornication.

Any person, not being married, who voluntarily shall have sexual intercourse with any other person, shall be guilty of fornication, punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

(Code 1950, §§ 18.1-188, 18.1-190; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)

There is also a criminal adultery law on the books:

§ 18.2-365. Adultery defined; penalty.

Any person, being married, who voluntarily shall have sexual intercourse with any person not his or her spouse shall be guilty of adultery, punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

(Code 1950, §§18.1-187, 18.1-190; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)

There is also an array of more specific crimes like french kissing a minor:

§ 18.2-370.6. Penetration of mouth of child with lascivious intent; penalty.

Any person 18 years of age or older who, with lascivious intent, kisses a child under the age of 13 on the mouth while knowingly and intentionally penetrating the mouth of such child with his tongue is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Virginia’s current code is a comprehensive criminalization of consensual acts. Clearly, minors present a different issue since they cannot legally consent. However, the danger is the criminalization of consensual sexual acts between teenagers.

Garrett was born in Georgia and earned his Bachelor and Law degrees from the University of Richmond. He served in the United States Army for six years and was Louisa County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2007. He has run on his “law-and-order focus and conservative ideals to his work in the Virginia Senate, where he fights for the families of the 22nd District.”

31 thoughts on “Virginia Legislators Introduce New Anti-Sodomy Law”

  1. In what world should french kissing a twelve year old by an adult be ok? What business does an 19+ year old person have french kissing a person who is 12 or less? I find that law unobjectionable as the mother of actual children.

  2. Apparently there isn’t any pressing business before the Virginia state senate and there are plenty of vacant jail cells in Virginia.

    What an excellent allocation of Virginia states finite resources.

  3. Sounds like …

    Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.” — Butch Hancock

  4. JohnLouisville rites:
    “How did this idiot even get out of law school, let alone pass the Bar?”

    He has been passing through the Joey’s sodomy ale Bar before staggering home.

  5. No Shakespeare of any kind in the Republic of Virginia! Forget Romeo and Juliet. No histories, comedies or tragedies. And they want us to believe that “Virginia is for Lovers.” Lovers of what, exactly? Not each other! What a troglodyte this Garrett is!

  6. First thought – is this guy an elder of Landover Baptist Church?
    Second thought – dunno about Virginia, but here in London I’ve read of schoolgirls being pressured to give boys blow-jobs, in a situation where they feel they can’t refuse. Maybe there’s a case for a higher age of consent for more, er, sophisticated sexual acts. Hard to enforce, but these acts are not generally taking place in the privacy of a bed, but often in a group of teenagers. Maybe a few exemplary sentences would help change the attitude that young girls have to.

  7. Raff,

    The major panademc of teens now is oral transmission of stds….. Some states have tackled this by giving an age variance…. Within 3 to 5 years….. There for awhile they were criminalizing even consensual sex between minors…..

  8. Republicans. Sex. Bad.

    I can imagine two teens of 16 who are hot and bothered saying, “We shouldn’t have any kind of physical relationship, especially those that don’t lead to pregnancy, because I don’t need a misdemeanor!” Brilliant.

    If this clown was wearing a turban and had a beard he could easily be mistaken for a Sharia law scholar….

    Most (Islamic) scholars either outright forbid or do not recommend genital-oral contact, while very few consider it permissible. The group of scholars who view oral-genital contact as permissible is mostly because there is no clear command in Hadith and Qur’an prohibiting such act. At the same time, there is no mentioning of such act as a part of foreplay in Hadith although Islam stresses on the importance of foreplay, as kissing, touching and the like are explicitly mentioned in Hadith….

  9. I suggest that all those Republican majority state governments take Garret’s lead. Go for it!

  10. More male jealousy at all the sex anyone who isn’t them (appears) to be getting. There is no other reason for these stupid laws that cannot be enforced, and criminalizes consensual touching. How terribly sad and alone these men must feel to lash out so.

  11. So teenagers kissing would be illegal under this law? Unbelievable. Is there a provision that requires female minors to wear a veil over their face in public too??

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