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November 4, 2005 4:48 PM   Subscribe


 
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.


What the hell? Forcing someone to go to church? Isn't that unconstitutional and illegal in a big way?

So many things about this case have made me sick to my stomach.
posted by kosher_jenny at 4:55 PM on November 4, 2005


Kansas? Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Rothko at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2005


If I were him, being forced to go to church on Sundays, I'd try to find a local Satanic sect or something.

An order to attend church is unlikely to meet Constitutional muster in the first place, but it would absolutely be unconstitutional to say of which faith.

It really feels like America is falling off the deep end... but then again, I suppose we wouldn't even be HAVING this conversation twenty years ago.

I guess this is progress. Kind of.
posted by Malor at 4:58 PM on November 4, 2005


Attorney General Phill Kline who said that the state’s sodomy law must be maintained to stop gay marriage, incest, and sex with children.

WTF Kansas? As if you aren't already looking bad enough!

So incest and sex with children doesn't involve anal intercourse then it's hunky dory?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:58 PM on November 4, 2005


One day, when I'm describing to a younger generation this phase in the cycle of hatred and fear that plagues our species forever, Matthew Limon's story will be a vivid example. For the moment, it's rather grounding to take a step back from our Web 2.0 and our video iPods to realize that in America in 2005 our fellow citizens are fighting to keep a man in prison because he's gay. And that our government is forcing that man to go to a place where he will be denounced and reviled.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:01 PM on November 4, 2005


Mathew Limon was wrong to start with. However, the court's means of dealing with this case are almost as bad as the original crime. At least the 14 year old was a consenting partner.

On the other side of the coin, our courts still rock. Had this occured in Saudi Arabia, he would have been executed by stoning.
posted by snsranch at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2005


What a sad story. I'm surprised they don't make more of the fact that he is developmentally disabled. I would assume that would have been part of his trial/punishment? Or is the anti-gay fervor so strong that they would punish retarded people for it? At least he finally got out of jail.
posted by cell divide at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2005


sns I dig what you're saying on one level, but Saudi Arabia's justice system is an abberation, not something even countries with far more rudimentary justice systems then America would look on with revulsion.
posted by cell divide at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2005


What's the matter with Kansas?
posted by j-urb at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2005


On preview, I dig the sentiment, grrarrgh00, but his original crime was having sex with a 14 yr old. As I understand the not-so-great link, his sentence was overturned, not the conviction.
posted by snsranch at 5:08 PM on November 4, 2005


cell divide, I was being a jack-ass to make such a comparison.
posted by snsranch at 5:11 PM on November 4, 2005


I find myself wondering if Limon is "developmentally disabled" in any place but the delusions of his parents, and the state in which Limon lives.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2005


Kansas? Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Hey!
posted by interrobang at 5:16 PM on November 4, 2005


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.

Ugh. That's seriously fucked up right there. Also, why didn't they just charge him with child-molestation? Does it not count if they're both under 18? That's what I thought happened to this kid (I've heard this story before).

Anyway, that DA really pisses me off, I am as outraged by his statements as it is possible to be.

And what did he think would happen? He could just go up to the supreme court and say that crap and they would do what he asked?
posted by delmoi at 5:19 PM on November 4, 2005


I find myself wondering if Limon is "developmentally disabled" in any place but the delusions of his parents, and the state in which Limon lives.

Why?
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2005


On the other side of the coin, our courts still rock. Had this occured in Saudi Arabia, he would have been executed by stoning.

Yes, and if it happened in the Netherlands he never would have been indicted. What's your point? That we should all move to Holland and smoke some pot? Then I totaly agree.
posted by delmoi at 5:21 PM on November 4, 2005


Although under Dutch law, you can be held for a month or so without being charged with a crime. I learned this during the whole missing-white-girl-in-Aruba thing. I also learned that Aruba is a part of the Netherlands.
posted by delmoi at 5:23 PM on November 4, 2005


delboi, put the bong down.

He was described as developmentally disabled before the 'offence' occurred.

He was 18 when the offence occurred.

He was in the same facility as a 14 y/o when the offence ccurred.

It is likely that most states would have child protection laws so that this would be an offence in jurisdictions other than Kansas. Also, I find it bizarre that the age grouos are not better stratified - if an 18 y/o must be cared for away from home, it really shouldn't be in the same place as a boy of 14, for this very reason. The state has some responsibility for poor supervision here.
What is unfair, and I'm glad to see, now deemed unconstitututional, is that the law discriminated depending on the genders involved.

What irks me most in the news reports is the grab-all term sodomy: A man jailed for a sex act on an underage boy is released to relatives while the state decides its next move in light of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling.

Matthew Limon has been serving a 17-year sentence for sodomizing a 14-year-old boy. Limon was 18 at the time of the incident in 2000.

Seeing that, many folk will assume penetrative sex occurred, when it was actually a blowjob. Why is that term used?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2005


What I'm thinking is that the piece is so editorialized that we're focusing on his being gay, and obviously the original court did too. But don't forget, he screwed (or was screwed by) a minor. The fact that the court equates that with being gay is wrong, but so is screwing a kid. This guy isn't innocent.
posted by snsranch at 5:34 PM on November 4, 2005


dash_slot, yea. Years ago in North Carolina, a friend of mine got busted getting a BJ in a car and was convicted of both "crimes against nature" and "sodomy". I didn't get it then and I still don't. Consenting sex is just than. My only problem with this story is that minors can't consent, legally.
posted by snsranch at 5:46 PM on November 4, 2005


Matthew Limon has been serving a 17-year sentence for sodomizing a 14-year-old boy. Limon was 18 at the time of the incident in 2000.
Seeing that, many folk will assume penetrative sex occurred, when it was actually a blowjob. Why is that term used?


Legaly, sodamy is anything other vaginal sex, I belive.

The fact that the court equates that with being gay is wrong, but so is screwing a kid. This guy isn't innocent.

He didn't 'screw' a kid, he sucked on his penis, and stopped when the guy asked him to. It would not have been illegal under Kansas law if the 14 year old was female, due to the 'Romeo and Juliet' laws that protect teenagers from prosecution for fucking each other.
posted by delmoi at 5:46 PM on November 4, 2005


...is just that.
posted by snsranch at 5:47 PM on November 4, 2005


What I'm thinking is that the piece is so editorialized that we're focusing on his being gay, and obviously the original court did too. But don't forget, he screwed (or was screwed by) a minor.

Again, this would not have been illegal if the younger person was a female.

And he had just turned 18. Is there some magic switch that gets flipped when a person turns 18? Or do you believe that a 17 year old ought to go to jail for consentualy munching on a 14 year girls box?
posted by delmoi at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2005


This guy isn't innocent.
posted by snsranch at 1:34 AM GMT on November 5 [!]

Do you think he was 'of sound mind'? Do you think he was tried fairly? Do you think the law applied equally without discrimination?

Innocent is not a relevant concept: he may not have understood that he was doing something which society deems 'wrong'.
"...he screwed (or was screwed by) a minor..." Er, is that phrase now so debased that it no longer is a synonym for coitus? Or are you misusing it? Sincere enquiry.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:50 PM on November 4, 2005


Why?

I honestly have no idea.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:51 PM on November 4, 2005


Wolf: you're argument still dosn't make any sense.
posted by delmoi at 5:56 PM on November 4, 2005


He must attend church on Sundays

Astonishing...forced to attend a cult meeting ? Why a cult but not a psycologist , why some cult instead of another ? If the State can dictate to attend one church then I guess the separation is over and there's a State religion..the other religions must be necessarily destroyed and rejected.

That's more and more like Iran.
posted by elpapacito at 6:12 PM on November 4, 2005


That's more and more like Iran.

Hush, now, that kind of talk is just shrill and dramatic.
posted by Rothko at 6:15 PM on November 4, 2005


kosher_jenny writes "What the hell? Forcing someone to go to church? Isn't that unconstitutional and illegal in a big way?"

If your on parole the judge can essentially impose any kind of condition on your release; which you agree to or you stay in prison.
posted by Mitheral at 6:17 PM on November 4, 2005


delmoi, it's entirely plausible to me that Limon's parents may have discovered his homosexuality long before the age of 18 and have done their level best to "correct" that "abnormality". There are parents who do such things, you know, and it's also entirely plausible to me that such a process could in and of itself utterly break a child.

I'm not finding much information about the circumstances surrounding Limon's initial diagnosis, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were somewhat suspect. Then again, it may all be perfectly legit.

However, I've known several young men in my life who were diagnosed as developmentally disabled for no other reason than their parents needed something to get that child out of their sight forever. With enough money or the right beliefs, there's tons of organizations that would be all too willing to accept such children from such parents.

Thus, I wonder about Limon's parents and his life before his incarceration.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:28 PM on November 4, 2005


The Kansas City Star has more info

Attorney Byron Cerrillo later said his client was “nervous, very nervous.”

Limon’s attorneys asked Miami County District Judge Richard Smith to release Limon under strict conditions, requiring him to stay with his aunt and uncle, not have contact with children, and attend sex-offender treatment and counseling.

They also asked that Limon be allowed to go to church on Sundays.

“Matthew has God in his life,” said Cerrillo, of the Johnson County public defender’s office. “He would sit with (his aunt and uncle) and go home.”


I find it shocking that he's stilll being treated as a sex offender.
posted by Flitcraft at 6:40 PM on November 4, 2005


I'm done with this thread. It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up as the poster child for gay rights.
Sure Kansas courts have been outed as being primitive, sexist and overtly religious. But that is no exuse for touting this guy as being some king of gay hero.

I'm off to vomit before mixing my next martini.
posted by snsranch at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2005


Ah...Kansas - always sure to make my home state of Texas look good.
posted by hobbes103 at 7:04 PM on November 4, 2005


What's the matter with Kansas?

Kansas is developmentally disabled.

(And I know, there are nice people in Kansas, and Lawrence is a great town, but this is deeply, deeply f*cked, almost Taliban f*cked, and as a gay man in a monogamous relationship I still don't feel comfortable visiting, much less living in KS.)
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:11 PM on November 4, 2005


Keep in mind, the stupid parts of this case are a) that a same-sex offense was treated as many times more serious than a heterosexual offense, and b) that the paroled guy is being told to go to church. There are present challenges to the participation in faith-based prison programs as a prerequisite to early release.

The idea that an 18-year-old having sex with a 14-year-old is sexual assault is, I think, a commonplace in America, and the idea that a juvenile can be a registered and supervised sex offender is also commonplace. A bleeding-edge controversy is public access to registration of juvenile sex-offenders, when juvenile records are routinely expunged on adulthood.
posted by dhartung at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2005


elpapacito beat me to it.

And snsranch, see what delmoi said, twice. Let us know when you get it, once you're back from your bulimia binge.

(This comment was so easy, it's like other people wrote it for me!)
posted by davy at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2005


On the other side of the coin, our courts still rock. Had this occured in Saudi Arabia, he would have been executed by stoning.

well, i don't know about your courts 'rocking', but to add to the rest of your point: his 'victim' would also have been executed as well.
posted by TrinityB5 at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2005


hobbes, don't get all Texas proud just yet. Here in Houston, lots of signs at Baptist churches are telling me that God voted--and voted early!--for Proposition 2.

I wonder if He voted often?
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:25 PM on November 4, 2005


I don't see anyone touting this guy as a "gay hero". The fact that he performed oral sex on someone of the same gender means he serves a sentence twelve times longer than if the other partner (it was consensual) had been the opposite sex. He wouldn't even have to ever register as a sex offender if the 14 year old had been a girl.
Essentially, being gay has made him somehow more of a sex offender, and more of a threat, than he would be if he were straight. That's actually worth getting sick over.

The outrage here is that this conviction was upheld by the Kansas Court of Appeals based on an old Supreme Court case that upheld sodomoy laws. Those laws were struck down by a more recent Supreme Court ruling, yet even though sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional nationwide, this guy has served more time in jail that any heterosexual kid would have.

On preview: what dhartung said.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:27 PM on November 4, 2005


... It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up as the poster child for gay rights. Sure Kansas courts have been outed as being primitive, sexist and overtly religious. But that is no exuse for touting this guy as being some king of gay hero. I'm off to vomit before mixing my next martini.

he's a CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER because he was UNJUSTLY convicted. like DUH!
posted by TrinityB5 at 7:31 PM on November 4, 2005


I'm done with this thread. It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up as the poster child for gay rights.

So who is doing that? To go back to your earlier question, who is saying he is innocent? The article certainly isn't. The simple reality is that if he had committed exactly the same actions with a 14 year old girl (and he would still be a convicted sex offender) he would have gotten sentenced to 15 less years and that is wrong. I personally think sentencing an eighteen year old to 17 years in prison for having consensual sex with someone four years their junior is outrageous. And the law in most places in the US recognizes this fact by lowering the penalties in statutory cases where the age difference is low.

Unfortunately the ACLU does not have the liberty to defend only the blameless. If it did we wouldn't have any civil rights left. The fact remains that if this had been straight sex this guy would have been done with his time and out four years ago and nobody would have ever heard of him.

However, that quote above from Flitcraft makes me wonder if the assertion that he is under court orders to attend church (if this were so why would the family ask for him to be permitted to attend?) is a misinterpretation of the facts.
posted by nanojath at 7:37 PM on November 4, 2005


Legaly, sodamy is anything other vaginal sex, I belive.

Davy, it was the spelling that drove me to bulemia!

I still don't agree. In BLUE states it would have been illegal, and he would be a registered sex offender.
posted by snsranch at 7:47 PM on November 4, 2005


No one here is saying what he did is not legal.

He would not have to register as a sex offender if the 14 year old had been female:
Unlike a heterosexual teenager, he also must register as a sex offender and undergo 60 months of post-release supervision.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:53 PM on November 4, 2005


So let's be sure about this, snsranch.

You think that an 18 year old with a mental disabilty should go to prison for FIFTEEN years because he fooled around with another boy only a couple years younger than he?

Let's put this another way.
Do you think that highschool juniors should go to prison for fooling around with the freshmen? If so, do you think that a fifteen year sentance is appropriate?
posted by Jon-o at 7:56 PM on November 4, 2005


oops. a little late
The outcome of this case essentially means that being gay in Kansas is a sex offence punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years.

That's not so cool, is it?
posted by Jon-o at 7:58 PM on November 4, 2005


Hey Jon, I think "developmentally disabled" is different from "mentally disabled". At least I was reading it as if he was just "a little slow".

Anyway, that is why the people are trying to take the Internet out of your hands, everybody fears you will end up forcing a Kansas CEO into ICANN, who will then proceed to ban gay porn and then all porn from the nets, rendering them close to useless for all practical purposes.
posted by nkyad at 8:12 PM on November 4, 2005


"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."

Or, you know, they could just pass laws against those things. It's like outlawing roads to curb jaywalking.
posted by Eideteker at 8:15 PM on November 4, 2005


jon-o, so your saying it's ok to have sex with minors. Ok. Point taken.
posted by snsranch at 8:51 PM on November 4, 2005


Does anyone want to jump in here? I might say something that I'll regret.
posted by Jon-o at 9:41 PM on November 4, 2005


Sure. snsranch, is English your native language? Is this communication problem some sort of language barrier thing?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:46 PM on November 4, 2005


It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up

So I take it you didn't you get any action before you were 21 then, snsranch?

Were you all holed up by yourself with the vaseline and Miss Fist for ten years? You know, it wasn't so long ago when people would advocate locking kids up for that as well.

But if that's the case, then perhaps it's not surprising you've got such a chip on your shoulder about this issue?

And if it *isn't* the case, then I call hypocrite.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:47 PM on November 4, 2005


snsranch, you still don't get it do you?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2005


It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up

So aren't you sick you haven't been arrested yet ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:27 AM on November 5, 2005


snsranch

It's sounds more like Jon-O is saying that it is ok for minors to have sex with minors. Which from my understanding of the "Romeo and Juliet" laws, the state agrees with to a point.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:45 AM on November 5, 2005


jon-o, so your saying it's ok to have sex with minors. Ok. Point taken.

Alright, I'll bite.

Believe it or not, the age of consent varies from country to country. In Canada, the age of consent is 14, not 18. The Canadian government's position on this case would be, WHY YES, IT IS LEGAL TO HAVE SEX WITH [A MINOR AS DEFINED IN AMERICA]. Furthermore, minors are allowed to fiddle with each other's diddles so long as there is less than a 2-year gap in age; and even if there is a wider gap, charges are laid only when actual abuse is deemed to have occurred.

To recap, either the 30 million of us are wrong, the 300 million of you are wrong, or *gasp* morality and legality may not always correlate. The peanut gallery that crawls out and screams "BUT THEY BROKE THE LAW!" always sickens me.
posted by mek at 5:46 AM on November 5, 2005


"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."

Like so many of you I keep stumbling over this. Particularily the part about incest. I really can't figure what Kline is thinking, how does legalizing sodomy make incest OK? This leads me to believe that he is just parroting stuff-- not thinking it through. Just like people who automatically belch out: "If you allow gay marriage then you will have to legalize polygamy and bestiality."

I see they changed the original blog entry to strike out the reference to church attendance:

Just a small correction… Matthew is staying with his aunt and uncle, but attending church is NOT a part of the judge’s order! We did ask that he be allowed to attend church with his family, because he wants to go. But the judge’s order in fact precludes him from attending church.

Which makes even less sense. Far from forcing him to go to church, the judge says he can't go to church. I guess he must be under house arrest.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:58 AM on November 5, 2005


I'm done with this thread. It makes me sick that a convicted sex offender is being held up as the poster child for gay rights.

Where does it say he's a convicted sex offender? Well, I guess you're leaving this thread and never coming back. But I didn't see that information anywhere. I don't see how a consensual act should be considered a 'sex offense'. There's no logical basis for calling what happened rape, IMO.

The whole "sex-offfender" tag is idiotic. It lumps violent rapists with teenagers who screw each other and even people who moon each other, and politicians gain brownie points with unthinking idiots by turning them into second-class citizens.
posted by delmoi at 8:05 AM on November 5, 2005


Secret life, I assume church is off-limits because children are usually present, and he is ordered to avoid contact with minors.
posted by namret at 8:56 AM on November 5, 2005


That worked a treat for priests...
posted by longbaugh at 10:04 AM on November 5, 2005


So a boy in grade nine is given a blowjob, and this is some sort of problem?

Christ, in my town the grade nine boys are fucking anything that can move, drinking a lot of hard liquor, and getting wasted on pot, shrooms, and E. Blowjobs are the least of the social issues we need to deal with.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:23 AM on November 5, 2005


and politicians gain brownie points with unthinking idiots by turning them into second-class citizens.
posted by delmoi at 11:05 AM EST

Just this morning I received a campaign flyer in the mail promoting Phil Matthews for mayor of Garner. Big selling point? He voted "yes" to keep convicted sex offenders out of city parks "protecting our children and families."

The most ironic part of that statement is as near as we can tell the city park nearest us isn't used by anyone except myself, my husband, and occasionally his biker friends.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:24 PM on November 5, 2005


FYI, the 365Gay.com article that stated Limon was required to go to church was wrong and has since been corrected. He had asked to be allowed to go to church while under house arrest, but the judge said that he couldn't leave his aunt & uncle's home except for court dates and appointments at the community corrections office. The house arrest is probably only temporary; the local D.A. has a limited amount of time to decide whether to re-charge him under the now-revised "Romeo and Juliet" law (in which case he'll probably be released anyway because he's already served the new maximum sentence several times over). The Kansas Attorney General is also considering whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which might extend his time under house arrest.

And one other correction: his sentence wasn't 15 years. It was for 17 years and two months (206 months), when a heterosexual of the same age with the same history would have been sentenced to a maximum of 15 months.
posted by apollonia6 at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2005


To recap, either the 30 million of us are wrong, the 300 million of you are wrong, or *gasp* morality and legality may not always correlate. The peanut gallery that crawls out and screams "BUT THEY BROKE THE LAW!" always sickens me.

Actualy, age of consent varies from state to state in the US as well. In kansas, in fact, the age of consent is 16.

So if the had been one year older...
posted by delmoi at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2005


Delmoi, yea, I had to leave the thread. I didn't make my point well, and was drinking. I happens sometimes. I hope I didn't eff the thread up too much.
posted by snsranch at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2005


Metafilter: Fiddling with each other's diddles.
posted by jonp72 at 8:10 PM on November 5, 2005


I hope I didn't eff the thread up too much.

Don't worry about it. You only totally derailed it.
posted by Jon-o at 8:30 PM on November 5, 2005


Takes a bow, exits stage left. "Thank you, thank you."
posted by snsranch at 8:58 PM on November 5, 2005


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