Last edited: February 14, 2005

Same Laws for Same Sex

Dozens huddle outside the Statehouse demanding a change in Kansas statutes they consider discriminatory.

Topeka Capital-Journal, February 16, 2003
616 SE Jefferson Street, Topeka, KS 66607
Fax: 785-295-1230

By Erin Adamson, The Capital-Journal

About 130 people braced against the cold Saturday during a rally calling for decriminalization of sex between those of the same gender in Kansas.

The Womyn’s Empowerment Action Coalition, a student organization at The University of Kansas, protested two Kansas laws that make some sex acts illegal between same-sex partners but not between heterosexual partners.

Lea Burgess Carland, a coalition member who helped organize the rally, which was held at the top of the south steps of the Capitol, said the laws must be repealed to provide justice for all people.

"We have to help change the law that is so blatantly discriminatory to LBGT (Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgendered) folks," she said as she kicked off the rally shortly after 1 p.m.

One woman standing at the edge of the gathering held a sign that read, "Making Love Isn’t a Crime."

Christine Robinson, a doctoral candidate who teaches at KU, said legislators needed to take the lead "to abandon judicial bigotry once and for all."

She said Kansas teenager Matt R. Limon was one victim of the state’s "Romeo and Juliet" law, which separates consensual teenage sexual relationships from cases in which older adults exploit young children—as long as the young couple is a male and a female.

Limon was sentenced to 17 years and two months in prison for having sex with an underage boy in February 2000, when Limon was 18. If either Limon or his partner had been female, the maximum sentence would have been one year and three months in prison.

Jason Chaika, of Topeka, stood on the Capitol steps asking audience members to support the Equal Justice Coalition, an organization working to elect "fair-minded" candidates to the Topeka City Council.

The coalition wants to elect council members who would support a proposed amendment to city law to include sexual orientation as a protected status. Chaika said passing such an amendment would be difficult as long as homosexual sex was still illegal under state law.

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