When you hear about charges of "lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 - 16," you usually picture some gross middle-aged adult molesting a young teenager. As far as crimes go, this one is considered among the lowest. But what if those charges are against an 18-year-old girl? Florida teen Kaitlyn Hunt has been charged with two counts of this felony based on a relationship she had with a 15-year-old girl.
Kaitlin and the unnamed teen began their consensual relationship at the beginning of the school year. When the younger girl's parents found out, they went on the offensive, calling the police, pushing to have Kaitlyn expelled from the high school both girls attend, even pressing charges. If you ask Kaitlyn's mother, the charges are motivated by homophobia.
Kelly Hunt Smith says in a Facebook post, "Free Kate":
They were out to destroy my daughter, they feel like my daughter "made" their daughter gay. They are bigoted, religious zeolites [sic] that see being gay as a sin and wrong, and they blame my daughter...
Those parents have forced the State Attorneys office to go thru [sic] with felony charges and are trying to ruin my daughters life. This is insane. This should have never been a legal matter, it is a family matter. They are trying to send an innocent young girl to prison because they are full of hate and bigotry. These girls are teenagers in high school, who had ONE mutual consenting sexual experience. My daughter isn’t a criminal, she isn’t a predator.
Wow, at least Kaitlyn's mom is supportive of her. The state is offering Kaitlyn a plea bargain of two years house arrest plus one year probation. And it's all for fooling around with another girl.
Quick raise of hands, everyone: Did any of you have an slightly older boyfriend when you were in high school? Can you imagine your parents pressing charges against him for some consensual heavy petting in the back seat of his car? Sure, they might be pissed. But pushing for a felony -- against a kid who is still in high school! Kate's mom is right. This is about homophobia.
Right now, all over this country, there are teenagers engaging in same-sex fooling around. Some of these kids are definitely gay, others are wondering if they are, and many are just plain curious. It's kind of how you figure it all out. (Be safe, kids!) I know there are parents who are deeply uncomfortable with this. But it's the reality.
What's not reality is this notion that you can "turn" someone gay. For the five billionth time, gay does not work that way. There's no gay switch. And it doesn't matter how much Kaitlyn is punished, it's not going to change who her friend is inside. There is nothing, NOTHING her parents can do to change her sexual orientation. And it's just fucking sad that her parents are incapable of offering her love and support and can only lash out in fear and hatred. Someone please tell me the next generation of parents is going to get this better.
There is a Change.org petition asking Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman to stop prosecuting Kaitlyn Hunt.
Do you think Kaitlyn should be charged with a felony?
Image via Free Kate/Facebook