ACLU Asks Kansas Court to Overturn 17-Year Prison Sentence of Bisexual Teenager

Arguing that excluding gay teenagers from the Kansas "Romeo and Juliet" law is unconstitutional after the recent Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy laws, the American Civil Liberties Union today asked a state appeals court to free a bisexual teenager who is serving 17 years in prison for having oral sex with another young man.

Matthew Limon is appealing a 17-year prison sentence he received because shortly after he turned 18 he performed consensual oral sex on another teenager at a residential school for developmentally disabled youth where they both lived in Miami County, Kansas. If he had instead performed oral sex on a female of the same age, he would have received no more than 15 months in jail under the Kansas law. But because the "Romeo and Juliet" law applies only to heterosexuals, Limon was convicted under the much harsher state sodomy law.

The sentence was just wrong -- with or without Lawrence v. Texas, as I blogged earlier here. The US Supreme Court reversed and remanded Limon's sentence within a day of the Lawrence decision. But the Kansas courts still haven't decided what to do with Mr. Limon, which is what the ACLU's brief addresses. If you don't already, you should consider supporting the ACLU. Even if you don't always agree with them, they are an important counterpoint to John Ashcroft.