Last edited: December 06, 2004

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.

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