The Kansas Equality Coalition, an LGBT advocacy group, hopes to pressure Gov. Sam Brownback (R) into repealing a state law that prohibits people of the same sex from engaging in intercourse.
“We believe that the current statute, while ultimately unenforceable, is an affront to thousands of law-abiding gay and lesbian Kansans,” Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition, told LJWorld.com.
Because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down an anti-sodomy law in Texas, the Kansas law is ultimately unenforceable. But the law is still on the books, and still presents a problem, according to Witt.
“This law technically criminalizes our relationships and leaves us open to harassment by unscrupulous authorities who may still make arrests under the provisions of this statute,” he explained.
Brownback plans to push for repeal a number of laws he considers unreasonable or burdensome, but whether the sodomy law will be included on his repeal agenda is unknown. The socially conservative governor previously blamed same sex relationships for children being born out of wedlock.
In 2004, the Kansas Court of Appeals held that the state could punish illegal sex with children more harshly when it involved homosexual acts. The American Civil Liberties Union had fought against the law, claiming the differences in sentencing for homosexual and heterosexual sex crimes represented unconstitutional discrimination.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Sauber