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Gay Teen Limon Finally Released


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Gay Teen Limon Finally Released

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 4, 2005 8:30 am ET

(Topeka, Kansas) Matthew Limon, the gay man at the center of a Kansas law struck down by the state Supreme Court, was freed late Thursday night, but his ordeal may not be over.

The law had provided for tougher sentences for people convicted of gay sex than those provided for heterosexual sex.

During a sentencing hear Thursday afternoon - at which Limon was in orange prison clothes and shackled - the state indicated it may take the case to the US Supreme Court or file new charges.

Under Kansas law the attorney general has 30 days to decide whether to pursue the case against Limon.

When Limon's attorney was unable to immediately assure Miami County District Judge Richard Smith that he could arrange for Limon to be monitored by a qualified agency the judge ordered Limon to remain behind bars until the state made its decision. (story)

Late Thursday night attorney Byron Cerrillo had completed the arrangements and Smith ordered Limon's release but under strict regulations.

He is to stay with an aunt and uncle and must work on their farm. He must attend church on Sundays.

If the state decides not to appeal or if no new charges are filed Limon could be freed from supervision, but if it decides to carry on the case Limon could be forced to return to jail or to post a bond.

Limon was convicted in 2000 of having sex at age 18 with a 14-year-old boy when both were residents of a Paola group home for the developmentally disabled.

Limon was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for violating the state's anti-sodomy law, having two similar offenses on his juvenile record.

If the other teen had been a female Limon would have been charged the lesser offense of unlawful sexual relations, for which his maximum sentence would have been one year and three months in prison.

In a unanimous decision last month the state Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that had said the state could justify the harsher punishment as protecting children's traditional development, fighting disease or strengthening traditional values. (story)

The Supreme Court justices discounted arguments from Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline who said that the state's sodomy law must be maintained to stop gay marriage, incest, and sex with children. (story)

Kline accused the ACLU which presents Limon, of attempting to undermine the morality of Kansas citizens.

He said the ACLU's position was that all people, no matter their sexual orientation, were protected from discrimination. Kline said that would lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage -- as well as marriages with multiple partners, incestuous marriages and bestiality.

©365Gay.com 2005


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