ABC News’ Joan E. Greve and Michael Falcone report:
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has come under fire from the hosts of “The View” and “The Tonight Show” for defending his state’s anti-sodomy law — an issue that has also come up in the race.
Criticizing both Cuccinelli and the law, Whoopi Goldberg congratulated “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who recently married his partner, Justin Mikita.
“Thank goodness they’re not in Virginia,” Goldberg said Monday on “The View,” which airs on ABC, saying that Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature” law outlaws oral and anal sex.
“First of all, how do I know that you haven’t indulged?” she added, apparently posing a rhetorical question to Cuccinelli. “The second thing is: Why are you in my bedroom? Get out! Get out!”
Co-host Barbara Walters chimed in, “Whatever happened to the slogan, ‘Virginia is for lovers’?”
Late-night talk show host Jay Leno also weighed in on the law last Friday, joking, that Cuccinelli “wants to make oral sex illegal.”
“This could end the show business audition process as we know it,” Leno quipped.
Cuccinelli and his campaign have said that, as the state’s attorney general, he is simply defending a law that is already on the books. However, the law’s constitutionality has been challenged in the courts.
Cuccinelli’s opponent, Terry McAuliffe, and other critics have called Cuccinelli’s position “extreme,” a charge that has become familiar in a campaign in which Democrats have sought to portray Cuccinelli’s views on a variety of issues, including gay rights, as far out of the mainstream.
“The law is only applied to sodomy committed against minors, against non-consenting adults, or in public,” reads a statement on the website vachildpredators.com, which was paid for and authorized by Cuccinelli’s campaign. “In fact, contrary to misinformation peddled by Terry McAuliffe and his liberal allies against the defenders of this law, the law is not — and cannot be — used against consenting adults acting in private.”
Cuccinelli has said that the law ensures more severe penalties for child predators, including in the case of William Scott MacDonald who, at age 47, was convicted of soliciting oral sex from a teenage girl. But critics say the law needs updating. Virginia gay rights advocate James Parrish was quoted in the Washington Post last week saying, “A blanket sodomy law has no place in Virginia or any other place.”
But, Lisa Caruso, the state’s attorney from Dinwiddie County, wrote on the Cuccinelli-backed website: “As a mother and a prosecutor, I’ve been using this law to protect minors from predatory adults, and it would be a travesty for this tool to no longer be available to prosecutors to keep our children safe.”