Prudish white men in Virginia want to make a law that would make it illegal for teenagers to have oral or anal sex. Because if you’re not having sex that creates babies, you shouldn’t be having any sex at all. Especially if you’re a teenager. Especially if you’re a gay teenager.
Republican state legislator Thomas Garrett has proposed a law that piggybacks off of Ken Cuccinelli‘s attempt to reinstate Virginia’s anti-sodomy law (which was, incidentally, struck down as unconstitutional). Although Garrett says he wants to protect teenagers from sexual predators, redefining the law against certain sexual acts and applying it only to teenagers seems like a strange way to do it. According to Slate:
To be completely clear, this is not a bill banning sex between adults and minors, despite Garrett’s unconvincing assertion that this is his only intention. There are already laws in Virginia that cover that: The age of consent is 15, and, in addition, it’s a misdemeanor in Virginia for an adult to have sex with someone between the ages of 15 and 18. What this law would do is make it more criminal for an adult to have oral sex with a 15- to 17-year-old than vaginal intercourse, and, of course, it would make it illegal for two teenagers who are dating each other to have oral or anal sex with each other. But not, notably, vaginal intercourse. That would remain perfectly legal for teenagers.
So basically, the law is out to get LGBT teenagers and discourage both anal and oral sex. And, as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh says on his blog,
“If two 17-year-olds are choosing whether to have oral sex or genital sex, the law would push them towards the form of sex that is more likely to transmit disease, and more likely to cause unwanted pregnancy.”
I just do not understand why some politicians want to legislate the hell out of what people do with their own bodies during their own free time. And these are people that claim to want smaller, less-invasive government! The very people who look down on unwanted pregnancy and also want to limit abortion rights are trying to make legislation that might, in effect, push teenagers towards having the kind of sex that is more likely to get them a baby. I DO NOT GET IT. I WILL NEVER GET IT.
Granted, I doubt most teens in Virginia even know or care what the law says about sex acts. Even if the law passes, it will likely have little impact on whether they give each other head, try anal or opt for plain old P-in-the-V sex. But the principle of the proposed bill remains both ridiculous and offensive and for that reason, it’s been widely condemned by non-homophobic people who don’t think that sex is dirty. Luckily, it’s also unlikely to become law.
I just moved out of the state of Virginia, and thank god I did. I know not all y’all Virginians are crazy prudes, but just the same, I’m happy to be out of a state that elects people like Ken Cuccinelli and Thomas Garrett.
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