Last edited: November 01, 2003

Kline, ACLU Dispute Marriage, Consent Laws

Associated Press, September 15, 2003

By John Hanna

Attorney General Phill Kline said today that if the state loses a sodomy case currently before a state appeals court, Kansas marriage laws and laws against sex with children will be nullified.

Kline said the American Civil Liberties Union is attacking the state’s prohibition of same-sex marriages as well as laws against polygamy, incest, bestiality and sex between adults and children. An ACLU attorney said Kline had distorted the group’s arguments and dismissed his statements as “an act of desperation.”

The ACLU is representing Matthew Limon, convicted in 2000 of having sex at age 18 with a 14-year-old boy when both were residents of a Paola group home for the developmentally disabled.

Limon was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for violating the state’s anti-sodomy law, having two similar offenses on his juvenile record. However, had he or the other teen been female, a prosecutor would have had the option of filing the lesser charge of unlawful sexual relations, for which his maximum sentence would have been one year and three months in prison.

Kline characterized the ACLU’s arguments in the case, now pending before the Kansas Court of Appeals, as a broad constitutional challenge to various Kansas laws and then attacked the organization for taking a position he defined as “absurd, flawed and wrong.”

“The argument in the ACLU brief is a direct assault on the institution of marriage and also various criminal laws that protect children from sexual exploitation by adults,” Kline said during a news conference.

[Home] [News] [Kansas]