Virginia Anti-Sodomy Laws Tossed Out

It took almost a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its 2003 decision, “Lawrence Vs. Texas,” to invalidate state laws outlawing sexual activity between consenting adults. Virginia this Tuesday followed suit at last with a 2-1 vote by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to declare the state’s “Crimes Against Nature” anti-sodomy provision unconstitutional.

The ruling stemmed from the 2005 conviction of William Scott MacDonald, then 47, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and for the criminal solicitation of a 17-year-old girl, according to a report in this week’s Richmond Times-Mirror. MacDonald’s appeals of his conviction eventually rose to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case was joined by the ACLU of Virginia, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and University of California, Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chermerinsky.

The office of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said, “We are reviewing the decision and will consider our options.”