Protest targets Kansas sodomy law

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 19 2003 12:00 AM ET

Self-proclaimed "sexual outlaws" rallied Saturday against a Kansas law that criminalizes same-sex sodomy. "We cannot allow the government to legislate our very own pleasure, our genitals, and our bodies," said Chantel Guidry, a feminist from Lawrence, in front of a crowd of about 100 cheering protesters on the steps of the statehouse in Topeka. Holding signs that read "Proud to be a sodomite" and "State of Kansas out of our bedrooms," protesters asked that the Kansas statute prohibiting anal and oral sex between same-sex couples be repealed. Three other states ban only same-sex sodomy: Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy are illegal in nine states.

"There seems to be no legitimate state interest for this law at all," said Christine Robinson, protest organizer and a sociologist at the University of Kansas. "We can't come up with any other explanation except for bigotry." Robinson said she organized the protest to show state legislators that there is widespread support for overturning the law if the U.S. Supreme Court fails to do so next month.

Two men from Texas are appealing their 1998 convictions under that state's law, claiming it unfairly targets gay people. If the Supreme Court finds the Texas law unconstitutional, then the Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma statutes would likewise be invalidated. "Hopefully, the Supreme Court will rule in our favor, and we won't have to deal with legislators," said Steve Brown, president of the Kansas Democratic Party Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Caucus.