Making news over the last week has been the case of Kaitlyn Hunt – see article here. She is the Florida cheerleader who is facing felony charges because of her sexual relationship with her underage girlfriend. Kaitlyn is 18 and the alleged victim is 14. The girls attended the same high-school and played on the same basketball team. The younger girl’s parents pressed charges after they learned of the relationship.
Kaitlyn and her parents are claiming that she is being prosecuted because the victim’s parents do not want to accept their young daughter’s same-sex relationship. Gay rights advocates have become involved with this case, saying Kaitlyn is being persecuted because she is a lesbian. Supporters have started a “Stop the Hate, Free Kate” campaign, including an online petition to have the charges dropped.
This topic sparked a lot of debate within our trailer this week. My opinion is that statutory rape laws are in place to prevent the endangerment of minors, regardless of gender. I fully support same-sex relationships, but I think that in most cases a 14-year-old isn’t mature enough (neurologically or psychologically) to make relationship decisions – straight or gay. I also believe that if this case involved an 18-year-old male involved with a 14-year-old female – most people would support the charges. It is unfortunate that Kaitlyn Hunt could have a criminal record which would limit her career choices – but at 18 – she is legally an adult. This law is not gender or sexual orientation specific.