The Unswung Bat

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
 
35 Years Old, Never Kissed a Girl
Did You Know? This post has basically nothing to do with Gord Downie. Damn nice hat, though.

Wow. Here's something: I'm writing a story in which the vandalism of a gay rights-type office thingy plays a minor part (don't be misled, though, the story has nothing to do with anything remotely noble and everything to do with superpowers, misanthropic petty practical jokes, and Great Cthulhu) and so I used this "google" thing and looked up gay rights organizations in Cleveland, that being where the story happens. I really just needed a name, since the role it plays in the story is pretty small.

I got a few names, but what caught my eye was an article about the overturning of the sentence of an man living in Kansas (his first mistake) who, in 2000 and aged 18, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for having consensual sex with a 14 year old boy (his second mistake). Don't get me wrong, 18-on-14-year-old sex is pretty fucking objectionable and, if it weren't for the fact that guys having sex with much younger girls happens all the god-damned time in highschool, I'd have no severe problem with a society having a jail penalty for it. However, the reason the verdict got overturned is that the statutory rape law allowed a "somewhat longer jail term" for the man because the illegal sex was gay instead of straight. In fact, had the man had sex with an underage girl, the maximum penalty the allowable for him was 15 months. Rather than 204. The reason for the difference: "moral disapproval."

Much to the consternation of legislators who bemoan the court's "intrusion on the public's authority to make laws," the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest. So the law was defended as a way of "protecting children's traditional development, fighting disease (my italics), or strengthening traditional values."

Save to say that the man has already served 5 years as a child rapist in a Kansas prison, where, I have heard, being prominently labelled as such can work against you, I believe that's about all I have to say about that.



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