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Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Equality group asks legislators to repeal sodomy law

February 1, 2012

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— The executive director of a gay rights group asked Kansas legislators on Wednesday to repeal an unenforced law that makes sex between consenting adults of the same gender a crime.

Tom Witt of the Kansas Equality Coalition testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering a bill making other technical changes to state criminal statutes. The committee took no action on the bill and no one testified in opposition to the change.

The provision in question has been unenforceable since 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such laws are unconstitutional.

Witt said the statute has the effect of "making it illegal to be gay or lesbian" in Kansas.

"Kansans are still being harassed by government officials, who use this law as justification to engage in legalized discrimination and intimidation," he said.

Sen. Tim Owens said it was hard to tell if legislators go for the changes this year, though there were other provision in the bill that have an impact on prison bed space for other crimes that could cause problems.

House members declined to remove the statute in 2011 when that chamber considered a similar bill making technical changes. However, a Senate committee approved a separate bill that repealed the Kansas law but it never was debated by the full Senate.

"That should not be an issue with this chamber," said Owens, an Overland Park Republican.

Ed Klumpp, a representative of the commission that recommended the changes, said the issue has become a "political hand grenade" in recent years even though the law isn't being enforced.

"It sounds pretty straight-forward and simple," he told the committee.

The Kansas Equality Coalition has repeated asked Gov. Sam Brownback's administration to recommend the law be repealed. The Republican governor gave Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor the task of identifying laws and regulations deemed burdensome, inefficient and unnecessary when he signed an executive order in 2011 establishing the Office of the Repealer.

Taylor has submitted a list of 51 laws, rules and other government regulations targeted for removal. He has said other provisions recommended to his office for removal are under review, without speaking directly to the sodomy laws.

Kansas voters adopted a constitutional amendment in April 2005 stating that it only recognizes on marriages between one man and one woman.

Comments

Steve Bunch 2 years, 10 months ago

Sodomy for everyone! To the barricades!

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

The law against sodomy was designed to protect the family unit from acceptace of homosexual behavior that clearly violates what God and the Bible proclaim to be perversion read Romans chapter 1. Although this law presently is not being enforced it should not be taken off the books as it reflects the stong morals of the people of Kansas. It is wrong to belittle, make fun of, or harm those who commit any sin but we should never be "forced" to accept this behavior. Homosexuality is morally wrong and to embrace it is against God and the Bible!

beerbaron03 2 years, 10 months ago

should we stone people for adultery too?

Steve Bunch 2 years, 10 months ago

It's simply unfair that only heterosexuals can legally enjoy sodomy.

KEITHMILES05 2 years, 10 months ago

Until the straight population can stop the 50% yearly divorce rate then the straights have not much leg to stand on when it comes to morals.

voevoda 2 years, 10 months ago

Lots of things are declared to be sinful in the Bible. Most of them aren't also illegal. The Constitution explicitly defends blasphemy (it's free speech). It defends worship of other gods (it's freedom of religion). Coveting is the basis of a free-market capitalist economy. The government no longer has laws criminalizing adultery, or violations of the Sabbath, or disrespect for parents. So why criminalize homosexual sex, which wasn't even important enough to make it into the Ten Commandments?
Homosexual sex is hardly a threat to the "family unit." Homosexuals are part of family units.

deec 2 years, 10 months ago

Sodomy is extremely popular with the straight guys. So is girl on girl action. Half of marriages end in divorce. For heaven's sake, here's a reality check. Please cash it and go buy a clue.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

You make the same mistake over and over again, as many right-wing Christians do.

In our country, you have the right to believe whatever you like about homosexuality as part of your religion.

That doesn't give you the right to make unconstitutional laws, like this one.

Believe what you like, act as you like (if you don't believe in homosexuality, don't engage in it), pray as you like, etc.

The reason it's not being enforced is because it's unconstitutional, according to the US SC.

EarthaKitt 2 years, 10 months ago

I was desperately trying to read sarcasm in your post. All I could find was bigotry.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

Conservative like the law, because it helps them feel naughtier when they break it.

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