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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 10
Gay sex still illegal in Kansas
Section One
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Gay sex still illegal in Kansas

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Aren't you glad you live in Washington state? We may not always be on the mark as far as full Gay rights go, but we fare pretty well compared to, let's say, Kansas.

The ranking Republican and Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee say they intend to leave a law criminalizing Gay sex in Kansas law books - despite its being unconstitutional.

The law limits sex acts between Gay and Lesbian partners. A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a similar law in Texas indirectly nullified the Kansas law, but the Legislature must vote to repeal it.

The Topeka Capitol-Journal reported March 10 that Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican, and Rep. Jan Pauls, a Democrat, said it wasn't necessary to remove the law.

Kinzer says the law is unenforceable and no one is being harmed by it. He also said that there was no evidence of homosexuals being threatened by police officers with arrest under the law.

'It's tempest in a teapot,' Kinzer said. 'I don't think it would make any difference.'

Thomas Witt, state chairman of the Kansas Equity Coalition, says the law's existence is an insult to Gays and Lesbians living in Kansas. Witt is calling for both lawmakers to be ousted from their leadership positions.

'Rep. Pauls' endorsement of an unconstitutional statute that's used to threaten and discriminate against law-abiding Kansas citizens is an outrage,' said Witt.

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