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Kansas

Kansas legislature refuses to repeal outdated law that criminalizes gay sex

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. — In the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case nearly a decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot criminalize gay sex between consenting adults — but in Kansas, there remains a law on the books, albeit not enforceable, that LGBT rights activists call offensive and unconstitutional.

That law makes sex between individuals of the same gender a crime in Kansas.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in the state legislature, Thomas Witt, Executive Director of the gay rights advocacy group Kansas Equality Coalition, urged lawmakers to repeal the outdated law, but the committee took no action on the bill.

“It’s an unconstitutional law and it makes no sense to have it on the books,” said Kerry Wilks, Chairperson of the Kansas Equality Coalition. “It has mattered to some people, and just the fact that it’s on the books should be enough.”

On January 20, 2012, Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback released his list of 51 “out of date, unreasonable, and burdensome” laws to be repealed — missing from that list was the unconstitutional law banning same-sex relationships.

“We are angry and disappointed that Governor Brownback has failed to keep his promise to repeal laws that are unreasonable. There is nothing more unreasonable than Sam Brownback’s preserving an unconstitutional law that’s used by government officials to harass gay and lesbian Kansans,” said Thomas Witt, spokesperson for the Kansas Equality Coalition.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that being gay or lesbian is not a crime, and Brownback’s announcement is a gross act of disrespect to our nation’s Constitution, and to the thousands of gay and lesbian Kansans singled out by this unjust law,” Witt said.

Upon taking office in 2011, Governor Brownback had made repealing unreasonable, out-of-date laws a top priority for his administration.

Wilks said anger is growing in the gay community that the bill did not make it onto the repealer’s list.

“It’s telling someone that who they are is wrong, and that’s not right,” she said.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. Sounds like some of AZ politicians have relocated to KS

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:09pm
  2. O.O

    What.

    Criminalize gay sex.

    Give me AFB!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:14pm
  3. Ugh!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:17pm
  4. How about we first “criminalize” corrupt and bought Politicians!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:18pm
  5. duh. it’s kansas.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:19pm
  6. but it is legal to sleep with your brother or sister or farm animals in kansas…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:20pm
  7. I hate this state :(

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:27pm
  8. *lives in Kansas* :(

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 8:42pm
  9. Jayzus luvs kanzas…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 9:55pm
  10. what gay person would want to live in Kansas anyway? there’s nothing there for gay people

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 10:36pm
  11. FUCK THEM

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 10:36pm
  12. I’m so angry I can’t formulate a comment that even begins to describe what I feel!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:41pm
  13. how can a state with “ass” in its name keep this law on the books?

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:01am
  14. Robert Patton
    Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012
    Reply
    what gay person would want to live in Kansas anyway? there’s nothing there for gay people.
    ——————————–
    Sorry to disappoint you, Robert, but there isn’t anything in KS for anyone! I lived in KCMO!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:03am
  15. I think we had that in Oklahoma too.

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:12am
  16. As a black lesbian in the south i am not surprised they wouldnt remove this law. In the south apparently its ok to date ur realitives or actively be apart of the kkk but if you r open about who you love or what ur prefrence is you are treated as a science project or zoo attraction. I assure you the south will legalize weed and crack b4 they do anything positive for the LGBTQ.

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 1:32pm
  17. A sad but true statement Crystal :/

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 3:20pm
  18. What is it about kansas that makes people so whacky and homophobic, is it in the water, the air, is it in-breeding, OH, I get it, its good ol’ time religion. Too bad religious zealots you’re all going to your version of HELL and no amount of praying will prevent you from going there. BYE.

    Posted on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 4:15pm