Senator Creigh Deeds, Here’s My Point

Even at an old age of 63 I’ve retained a lot of my childhood idealism and sense of American government that was taught by equally idealistic history and social studies public school teachers. The words – actual words of heroic and enlightened Virginians still ring in my ears – patriots such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. So Senator Deeds I make no apology for holding you up in comparison.

You are a lawyer, even hoped to be the state’s top cop – so let me take you through this piece of my logic.

• Citizens should be law abiding.

• Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

• Citizens can’t pick and choose which laws they will obey.

• To selectively enforce laws rather than consistently enforce laws would deride respect for the law.

• It is reasonable that Virginians equally respect all laws in the Virginia Code.

• It is unreasonable for Virginians to presuppose what Virginia law may be in conflict with federal law or federal court ruling.

Further, as we are all adults here:

• Virginia law currently considers sodomy a felony.

• Virginia law encompasses oral sex, whether in a homosexual or heterosexual context or whether in an unmarried or married context, as sodomy.

• Current conclusion of scientific analysis universally concludes that most adults in America engage in or have engaged in oral sex.

• There is no reason to suspect that the Virginia legislature is a particularly distinct subset when it comes to typical sexual practices.

• The Virginia legislature raises its hand and swears each session to uphold the laws of the state of Virginia.

Ergo – most Virginia legislators are unindicted felons (and hypocrites).

Ok I know the logic is a bit far fetched and some purists may choose to attack the details rather than see the overarching argument.

My point Senator Deeds is that we have a law on our books that technically defines every one of our approximately 350,000 gay and lesbian citizens as felons. This is in the face of Lawrence v. Texas. This is in the face of contemporary Virginia social attitudes. This is in the face of conventionally accepted science.

What small courage would have been required of you – and I apologize for focusing on you as no other legislators had the required courage either - what courage would it have taken to stand up and say, “Gentlemen, we have a law that is antiquated, that is in conflict with a U.S. Supreme Court decision, that is a holdover from a less knowledgeable less enlightened period. And gentlemen, this law while unlikely to be enforced, and while remaining on the books is an insult to a significant minority in our midst – and may give permission to some element of our society to express their intolerance and prejudices in harmful ways. Harmful to this minority group and harmful to the common good of Virginia.”

No, Senator Deeds, you may consider yourself a Democrat but neither you nor any other Virginia Democrat has had the courage on the side of progressive and democratic ideals to counter the courage of a bigoted homophobe right winger such as Delegate Bob Marshall and his continued fight to take us back to the 18th Century.

Senator Deeds, I’m sure there are realities and priorities and practicalities of politics of which I know nothing. I do know though that you successfully this last session introduced a bill to insure that if a hunter’s dogs stray onto private land and if the hunter goes onto this land to retrieve said dogs, that the hunter cannot willfully refuse to identify himself or face a misdemeanor.

Wow – there must be a dozen situations a year where this travesty of law and justice occurs. I suppose this is why the basic civil rights of Virginia’s 350,000 gays and lesbians can never get priority attention.


Howling Latina said…
Any reason my comment disappeared?!?

MB said…
Spot on, Bill. Thanks for the post.

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