Kansas Upholds Anti-Sodomy Law
Associated Press, February 4, 2002
By John Hanna
TOPEKA, Kan. –– A state appeals court upheld a Kansas law that allows young
adults who have sex with underage partners to be punished more harshly if their
partners are of the same sex.
A three-judge panel ruled against Matthew R. Limon, who was seeking to overturn his sentence of 17 years and two months in prison for performing a sex act on a 14-year-old boy in February 2000. Limon was 18 at the time.
If Limon or the boy had been female, Limon's maximum sentence
would have been one year and three months in prison, the appeals court
The American Civil Liberties Union argued the law discriminates against
homosexuals, and the DKT Liberty Project, a group with a Libertarian philosophy, said the law represented gender discrimination.
The appeals court ruling was issued Friday. Limon still may appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court.
The year before the incident, legislators had enacted what became known as the "Romeo and Juliet" law, which was designed to separate consensual teen-age sexual relationships from cases in which older adults exploited young children.
It lessened the penalties for unlawful but consensual sexual relations in which one person was under 19 and the other was 14 to 16. But the law only applied when the sexual partners were of the opposite sex.
Limon was charged and convicted under a criminal sodomy law because the
"Romeo and Juliet" law didn't apply, the appeals court said. He had been convicted of a similar offense in 1998, which made his sentence more severe.
On the Net: Kansas appellate courts: http://www.kscourts.org
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