At age 18, Matthew Limon — a developmentally disabled young man — engaged in voluntary sexual activity with a 14-year-old male. This followed two prior cases where Limon was prosecuted as a juvenile for having sex with someone younger than 16.
A heterosexual Kansan of his age would have been sentenced — at most — to just 15 months for crossing the line of age of consent with a fellow post-pubescent teen-ager. But because the sex was same-gender, Limon was sentenced in 2000 to more than 17 years in prison.
Focus on the Family reacted with glee last year when the 17-year sentence was upheld. In doing so, Focus withheld from its readers key facts: that Limon was just four years older than his counterpart; that Limon was developmentally disabled and functioning as someone younger than 18; that the sex was voluntary; and that heterosexuals would have faced little or no punishment for the same offense.
Today, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state may not punish homosexual conduct more harshly than heterosexual conduct. “The statute inflicts immediate, continuing and real injuries that outrun and belie any legitimate justification that may be claimed for it,” Justice Marla Luckert wrote. “Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest.”
After at least three and a half years of unjust imprisonment, Limon may finally have his sentence reduced.
XGW would be pleasantly surprised if Exodus and Focus experience a change of heart, and join civilized society in treating gay offenses as equal to heterosexual offenses.