Last edited: April 01, 2006



  • Statute: 21-3505, Sodomy. Unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas
  • Penalty: 6 months/$1000
  • Classification: Misdemeanor
  • Restrictions: Same-sex only

Kansas is the only state with discriminatory penalties for consensual sex by minors. Kansas law makes any sexual activity involving a person under 16 illegal. The 1999 “Romeo and Juliet” law, however, provides lesser penalties for consensual sex when one partner is 19 or under and the other partner’s age is within four years. Convicted of sodomy for having sex in 2000 at age 18 with a 14-year-old boy, Matthew R. Limon was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. Had Limon’s partner been an underage girl, he could have been sentenced at most to one year and three months in prison.


21-3505 Criminal sodomy

(a) Criminal sodomy is:

(1) Sodomy between persons who are 16 or more years of age and members of the same sex or between a person and an animal;

(2) sodomy with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age; or

(3) causing a child 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age to engage in sodomy with any person or animal.

(b) It shall be a defense to a prosecution of criminal sodomy as provided in subsection (a)(2) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

(c) Criminal sodomy as provided in subsection (a)(1) is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.

Criminal sodomy as provided in subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3) is a severity level 3, person felony.


            1969     In a comprehensive criminal code revision, Kansas becomes the first state in the nation to make its consensual sodomy law applicable only to people of the same sex. The Judicial Council falsely reported to the legislature that this language was “similar in wording” to those of other states revising their codes during the same era.

            1983     Kansas becomes the first state to amend its incest law specifically to make same-sex incest a crime.

            1989     The Kansas Supreme Court interprets the state’s sodomy law as not criminalizing cunnilingus. The Kansas legislature acts swiftly to “correct” the oversight, but accidentally includes heterosexual cunnilingus. Then they “corrected” that error by rewording the law to re-legalize heterosexual cunnilingus.


City of Topeka v. Movsovitz
This is a challenge to both a state and a city law which prohibit sodomy but only when the couple involved is lesbian or gay. The Defendant, Max Movsovitz, was the victim of a police sting. After talking with an undercover officer for some time, he agreed (at the officer's suggestion) to participate in an act of oral sex. The City agrees that had the officer been a woman, no crime would have been committed. The trial court denied our motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the law violates equal protection. The law was ruled constitutional by the Kansas Court of Appeals. On July 14, 1998, Max was told that the Kansas Supreme Court would not hear Movsovitz's appeal. 

More details, including the court rulings, are available at


Sexual Offender Registry

I’m responding to your inquiry concerning Megan’s law and registration requirements in Kansas. I have included the statutes and if you want more specific language you can go to, go to Kansas, find the statutes and you can do a search there to get the specific statutory language.

Consensual sodomy between persons who are 16 or more years of age and members of the same sex is criminalized in Kansas under the criminal sodomy statute (21-3505(a)(1) which refers back to the definition of sodomy found in 21-3501(2)) Under the Kansas offender registration law someone convicted of (a)(1) criminal sodomy must register if the "victim" is less than 18 years of age. See K.S.A. 22-4902(a)(4)(B).

Otherwise, persons convicted of this subsection of criminal sodomy do not have to register. However, Kansas (and I suspect other states) has this strange catch-all phrase requiring registration by those convicted of "any act which at the time of sentencing for the offense has been determined beyond a reasonable doubt to have been sexually motivated.

As used in this paragraph, ‘sexually motivated’ means that one of the purposes for which the defendant committed the crime was for the purpose of the defendant’s "sexual gratificaton" See K.S.A. 22-4902(c)(12). I’m not sure what this could ultimately include but it sounds very broad to me. It has not been challenged in Kansas.

Also, the Kansas legislature just passed what’s being referred to as the "Romeo and Juliet" provision making registration unnecessary for some sex offenses when the victim is young and the perpetrator is a few years older and they are of the opposite sex. We are still analyzing just what was intended by this legislation and how it effects us.

Hope this helps.




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