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Kansas Sodomy Law Repeal Sought By LGBT Activists

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First Posted: 11/28/11 06:11 PM ET Updated: 11/28/11 06:19 PM ET

A Kansas-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group is calling for the repeal of a law criminalizing "unnatural" sexual activities, including homosexual sex.

As the Associated Press is reporting, the Kansas Equality Coalition notes that homosexual sex is considered a criminal offense under the state's law, even though the U.S. Supreme Court's Lawrence vs. Texas ruling rendered the law essentially unenforceable in 2003. Oral and anal sex are reportedly also classified as "unnatural" under the legislation, although as Maggie Astor notes in the International Business Times, the law was mostly used to target same-sex couples.

"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, is quoted by the Lawrence Journal-World as saying. "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."

As the AP notes, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback created of the Office of the Repealer in January in an effort to get rid of outdated, unreasonable laws and those that conflict with other regulations; state repealer Dennis Taylor, who also serves as secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration, has reportedly received suggestions from citizens not just on the longstanding sodomy law but also on more recent legislation, like the state's indoor smoking ban.

Still, as ThinkProgress is noting, Brownback -- who has endorsed GOP candidate Rick Perry and publicly opposes same-sex marriage -- may be a difficult lawmaker to sway on the issue.


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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |