This is the phrase being retweeted all over Twitterland today. I've read it in about 200 tweets, which means no one has anything original--or accurate, for that matter-- to say. At first glance, this looks like a story of homophobic bigotry.
Actually, it's not. To be honest, I'm kind of sad that it's not because I thought this would be something I would fight for passionately. The truth is this is not a case of homophobia; it's a case of a family trying to protect their daughter by using the gay angle of this case to rally sympathy and support from the gay community. More accurately, this teen is actually 18, the legal age of an adult in the state of Florida. The "sweetheart" in question is a 14 year old girl. The statement that the parents are "anti-gay" come from the Hunt family because, in their eyes, this is the only reason these charges were brought against their daughter.
You see, the Hunts believe their daughter is a precious angel. She may not be perfect, but she has amazing qualities and talents. She's a cheerleader, coach, athlete, and aspiring nurse. I don't know Kaitlyn Hunt. I cannot attest to this. Neither do I know the 14 year old involved in this case. I do, however, have a 14 year old niece and the thought of her having sex with a male or female at any age, much less an 18 year old is unsettling.
The Hunt family wants us to believe that everyone, including the 14 year old's family, was absolutely fine with the relationship between the two girls. Kelley Hunt said in a statement that she "assumed" the 14 year old's parents knew. My belief is that the other family had no freaking clue what was going on with their daughter. Florida soccer mom's don't think these things about their little girls, I guarantee it.
The Hunt family started a Facebook group to rally support to "FREE KATE." The group quickly got out of hand and the fans of Kate quickly began deleting posts and people like maniacs. People were getting too fired up and people were saying mean things about dear Kate. Did they really expect this issue to go gently into the good night? Their first mistake was making a group instead of a Facebook page that they could have controlled the way they wanted. Instead, they slammed the doors on the group and locked it. Got too hot in the kitchen.
They led people into believing that this 'consensual' relationship began when Kate was still 17. However, the police affadavit clearly states that the sexual relationship between her and the 14 year old began AFTER she turned 18, a fact that the Hunt family is trying to gloss over. They want us to believe that the 14 year old's parents waited in stealth until Kate's 18th birthday and then pounced on her to bring charges against her as an adult. If that was the case, why didn't they press charges sooner? Kate turned 18 in August. These charges were brought about in February.
We don't really know the answers because we are only getting one side of the story. The family of the 14 year old hasn't spoken in public so we really don't know a lot. Maybe they are homophobic. Who really knows? Or maybe they, like myself, aren't wild about their 14 year old in a sexual relationship and they would have done the same thing if the 18 year old was a male. We don't know. And it's not fair to judge them since we don't know.
So, as the Hunt family comes to terms that this sexual relationship did not actually take place while the two girls were minors they've decided to take a new strategy. They've pulled the gay card. And this is where they've pissed me off. Because, early on, Kelly Hunt said, "this is not a gay issue." But now, everyone is crying "anti-gay"!
I'm pissed off that everyone is jumping on the gay bandwagon. As a lesbian, I wanted this to be a gay issue. It's not. I wanted to support a fellow lesbian. I can't. They headlines are misleading. Kaitlyn is not being punished for being a lesbian. She's being punished for having sex with a minor as an adult. Stop complicating it by trying to make it a gay issue. We have enough problems without the rest of the country thinking we want special rights to have sex with children.
These are the facts:
Kaitlyn Hunt is and was 18 years of age when she began having contact with a minor, a girl of 14.
The age of consent in Florida is 16.
The age of an adult in Florida is 18.
You cannot have a consensual relationship with someone who is not old enough to consent. You can say it all you want. It doesn't make it true.
This is a case of an adult having sexual contact with a minor, a felony in the state of Florida. PERIOD.
Kaitlyn Hunt is not lesbian hero. She is not a gay martyr. She's an 18 year old who made a bad, perhaps uninformed, decision. Getting in trouble for finger f*cking your underage girlfriend in the school bathroom is not a noble cause.
Unfortunately, as gay people we want the same rights and sometimes that means we have to suffer the same consequences. I don't think Kaitlyn should get special treatment. This will just outrage the people who say we want "special rights." I'm sure, until now, the Hunt family didn't give a two shits about gay rights.
Yes, I'm sure these relationships happen all the time and no one makes a fuss. I have friends who had older boyfriends and got pregnant. Their parents could have, legally, filed charges of statutory rape against the boys. They chose not to. Other parents choose to file charges. That's their perogative as parents. It's a shame that some lives are ruined. A real damn shame, however, it's a damn shame their parents didn't warn them to stay away from jailbait girlfriends.
I don't agree that Kaitlyn Hunt should have to register as a sex offender for life. I think that should be reserved for true predators and pedophiles who are a threat to our children. I do believe that she broke the law, as it stands, even is she had no idea she was breaking the law. I didn't know is not an excuse. Her parents should have known better.
I do not want Kaitlyn's life to be ruined. But, this is not something that is being done to her; it's the result of an act that she admitted to doing. I realize she is not most likely not a sexual predator and she and this other girl probably believe they are 'in love.' Let's be honest. A 14 year old doesn't know jack about life and love and is not emotionally mature enough to be in a sexual relationship. Disagree if you want, but I'll bet the family farm that a majority of parents would NOT condone this if it was their 14 year old.
We have no idea what the motivation behind the 14 year old's parents pressing charges. Perhaps they are horrible homophobic vengeful bigots. Or perhaps they are simply freaked out parents who reacted to something they perceieved as wrong. They have a right to press charges. And that is what they have chosen to do. The fact is, we don't know. They're not talking and we only hear the side of the Hunt family and their 'assumptions.'
Another excellent article: http://ethicsalarms.com/2013/05/21/the-kaitlyn-hunt-affair-upon-further-review/