Friday, April 21, 2006

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline finally gets it: He lost the sex case

Despite the fact that his web site still maintains he won a teen sex case, Attorney General Phill Kline has finally admitted that, ah, he didn’t exactly come out victorious.

At issue is a Tuesday federal court ruling that slapped down every aspect of Kline’s effort to mandate the reporting of all underage sexual activity. The judge made a point of noting that Kline had usurped legislative authority and ignored the law.

The Wichita Eagle blog reports this morning that our not-so-beloved attorney general finally admitted his “mistake” to The Eagle editorial board.

“It’s not a victory.” No kidding.

That “no kidding” was a comment from Eagle blogger Phillip Brownlee, and is being echoed this morning by the rest of us in Kansas.

Brownlee continues:

In fact, Kline contends that by allowing health professionals to exercise their judgment about when teen sex is injurious and should be reported, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten’s order establishes a constitutional right to privacy that threatens other reporting laws. “The truth is Judge Marten’s decision went too far,” he said.

So does that mean that Kline is likely to appeal the decision? Yes, he said.

Great, more good tax money thrown after Kline’s bad opinion.

I agree with Brownlee. I am not happy to know that Kline is spending yet more of my tax dollars to go after the state’s 21st Century versions of Romeo and Juliet.

Let's put this into perspective.

As a mother, I am not at all thrilled, happy, or approving of the idea that any teenager at any time would be having sex.

Call me a prude, but having a son just out of that age group gives me a tiny bit of perspective. I think teenagers are too immature for the responsibility, the confusions and the difficulties that come with a physical relationship – not to mention the possibility of pregnancy and a child who will have two immature parents.

On the other hand, Kline seems to think that even sex between consenting teens is rape, or at least that’s the way the statement on his web site reads. Kline’s April 18 statement starts:

I have always maintained, and continue to maintain, that the rape of a child harms a child. When the Kansas Legislature wrote this statute, they unquestionably had the protection of children in mind.

No one argues about the issue of rape, reporting it and protecting children. To claim that his opponents are doing that is not only arrogant but appalling, yet that is the implication of Kline's April 18 statement.

More than t hat, Kline's statement doesn't admit the existence of any other kind of sex than rape.

Thus, I am left wondering along with the rest of the state, the Legislature and the federal judge what Kline would do to Romeo and Juliet.

If all underage sex is rape, then who do you charge? Is Romeo the rapist or Juliet? What damage would Kline do to the lives of those unfortunate teenagers if he ever had the chance to go after them?

No comments: