Gay Rights Are a Heterosexual Affair in Florida and Texas

Takepart.com

Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old senior at Florida’s Sebastian River High School, has a problematic commonality with grown adults Page Price and Carolyn Compton of Collin County, Texas.

All three women are lesbians who have experienced governmental interference in their love lives.

Young Kaitlyn was hit the harshest. Days after her 18th birthday this past February, she was cuffed, arrested and charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16 years of age.

Kaitlyn’s statutory victim was her girlfriend, a 15-year-old freshman she had been dating since the beginning of the school year.

The women in both cases believe they were singled out due to the same-sex nature of their relationships. They also concede that heterosexuals in similar situations are held to the same standard of law—and wrongly so.

Kaitlyn has until the end of the week to accept a plea bargain that includes admitting guilt to child abuse, spending two years under house arrest, attending sex offender counseling and registering as a sex criminal, a designation that will follow her for life.

Meanwhile in Texas, Collin County District Judge John Roach Jr. inflicted an act of official meddling upon Page Price and Carolyn Compton. His Honor decreed that Compton and Price are unfit for cohabitation.

The judge based his ruling on a euphemistic “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce settlement. The clause prohibits a divorced parent’s romantic partner(s) from spending the night under the same roof as the divorced parent’s children.

Page Price was given 30 days to move to an abode remote from Compton’s two daughters, age 10 and 13, following a hearing instigated by the girls’ father, Carolyn’s ex-husband Joshua Compton.

Parental influence also factored into the charges against 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt. The mother and father of Kaitlyn’s 15-year-old girlfriend are credited with alerting authorities to a physical relationship between the girls.

The women in both cases believe they were singled out due to the same-sex nature of their relationships. They also concede that heterosexuals in similar situations are held to the same standard of law—and wrongly so.

The so-called morality clause “is a burden on parents, regardless of their sexual orientation” said Page Price and Carolyn Compton in a statement. The couple plans to appeal the ruling.

(Actually, Collin County’s “morality” is extra burdensome for same-sex parents: An exemption to the clause exists for couples that marry, but only mixed-gender partners are permitted to wed in Texas.)

Julia Graves, an attorney representing 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: “I believe that times have changed a little bit since the law’s been put into place, and other states have recognized this. I just believe that the laws of Florida need to be changed. Unfortunately, we’re here with the law as it is, but we’re hoping commonsense can prevail.”

Commonsense to Graves would look like “a misdemeanor charge and to have some probation and maybe some education, community service and no contact with the victim, if that’s what they desire, and everyone move on with their lives where the victim doesn’t have to live with the fact that she, because of her consensual relationship, left her girlfriend with a felony.”

As reported by MSNBC’s Hayes, about 20 to 25 cases comparable to Kaitlyn’s are filed every year in Florida’s 19th judicial circuit.

If Graves prevails in her plea for commonsense consequences for Kaitlyn Hunt, she opens the gates to apply that same standard of good sense to all of Florida’s criminalized heterosexual teen lovers—which brings out the rainbow lining to this week of lesbian persecution:

The push for LGBT equality, in Florida and Texas at least, is struggling to update legislated morality that affects heterosexuals’ consensual rights too.

What do you think is the correct way for the law to handle an 18-year-old’s sexual relationship with a 15-year-old? Establish some policy in COMMENTS.