This is one of those stories that, when asked what kind of discrimination LGBT people really face in the United States, you can point to and say, “there.” A high school senior in Florida has been expelled from school and arrested for having a same sex relationship with a girl two years her junior. When they got together, Kaitlyn Hunt was seventeen and her girlfriend was fifteen. Unfortunately, the girlfriend’s parents seem to be terrible parents, and all around awful people, and when Kaitlyn turned eighteen, they sicced the cops on her:
Kaitlyn Hunt was a popular student at Sebastian River High School, participating in everything from cheerleading to basketball. Hunt began dating another female student and the latter girl’s parents became enraged, according to Hunt’s parents. Kaitlyn was 17 at the time the relationship began, while her girlfriend was 15. Upon Kaitlyn’s 18th birthday, her girlfriend’s parents sent the police to the Hunt home and the teenager was arrested.
Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child. Then, weeks before her graduation, Hunt was expelled from school.
“[The girlfriend’s parents] are out to destroy my daughter,” Hunt’s mother told the Examiner, “because they feel like she ‘made’ their daughter gay. They see being gay as wrong and they blame my daughter. Of course, I see it 100% differently. I don’t see or label these girls as gay. They are teenagers in high school experimenting with their sexuality — with mutual consent. And even if their daughter is gay, who cares? She is still their daughter.”
Kaitlyn’s mom: good.
In most states, there are exemptions in the laws about sex with minors when the two parties are close in age. If there weren’t, every kid, who, like most teenagers in relationships, is having sex with his girlfriend could face criminal charges if he turns eighteen before she does. And therein lies the rub! Joe points out that the age of consent in Florida is eighteen, but there is an exception for situations where the older person is under twenty-four and the younger person is at least sixteen. Therefore, Kaitlyn’s girlfriend’s parents are able to find a happy little loophole where their bigotry can find a comfortable home, and set out to ruin Kaitlyn’s life in the process. Of course, if they were straight, we can be fairly sure that none of this would be happening.
The attorney general offered Kaitlyn two years of house arrest and a year of probation. Her parents are asking people to sign a Change.org petition that urges authorities to drop or lessen the charges.
The attorney general and every other adult involved in this case needs to get a grip and enter the twenty-first century, thank you.
Please go sign that petition.