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A note to the parents seeking to devastate their 15 year-old daughter and her 18 year-old girlfriend

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There is fear now that Kaitlyn Hunt will not get a fair trial.  Her lawyer is concerned that an anti-gay judge is targeting her.  How did this get this far?

I did a double take when I saw the first accounts of this story. A teen girl was expelled and arrested for having a relationship with another girl.

I hunkered down in full fury mode reading the case. Then, my racing mind came to a screeching halt as it read the magic number . . . 18. A legal adult had been with a legal minor. Things just got complicated.

Kaitlyn HuntFamily photo, provided

As a dad with 10-year-old sons, under no circumstances do I want their intimacies leveraged by predators or abusers.

I would like to have my sons curtail their sexual experiences until they are at the appropriate emotional, spiritual, and maturely responsible time in their lives. Deciding when that time is would likely differ depending on whom you’re talking to. For the sake of argument, I penciled in age 30 for my boys, but I suspect they might find that a tad unreasonable.

All that being said, here are the facts: Teens have hormones and they are being sexual in some fashion, and in a big way.

According to an ABC poll in 2006, “In terms of their own activity, 63 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds say they’ve kissed romantically, rising to 73 percent of those 15 and up. Forty-four percent report sexual touching; among older teens, it’s 55 percent. Nineteen percent of all teens, and 27 percent of older teens, say they’ve had oral sex. As many have had sexual intercourse. “

Birds do it, bees do it, and there is a fifty-fifty chance your kids are doing it, too.

The point is, while the girls in this case were doing what half of all teen girls have done, all the activities described in the poll would violate the Florida “lewd and lascivious” law.

There are facts — and then there is Florida law. Unfortunately, the two are not necessarily synonymous.

Age of consent laws vary widely from state to state, country to country, culture to culture, and time period to time period. The range for consent goes from as low as 12 years old to as high as 21 years old. For that reason alone, the objective logic and rationale behind these laws are suspect.

Even “traditional” thinkers must pause and take note of the fact that the Virgin Mary was divinely impregnated, had given birth, and then had marital sex — all well before her 14th birthday.

Under today’s tight scrutiny, Joseph, and possibly even God Himself, would be labeled as a great pedophile.

Online, there is a massive petition in support of Kaitlyn, and even celebrated author Anne Rice has come out in her defense: “It’s outrageous really that anyone would arrest a girl of 18 for relations with a girl of 15. I’ve never heard of a boy being arrested in the same situation, ever.”

Anne is wrong, however; boys have been arrested.

Anne later also commented, “To criminalize this girl, to force her to register as a ‘sex offender,’ to threaten her with jail is monstrous, and it would be just as monstrous if she were a boy who’d been dating the underage one for two years, too. Laws that criminalize teenage dating like this should be reformed all through our country.”

Support notwithstanding, there is no disputing that Kaitlyn Hunt is in legal trouble and the goodwill may not help her.

She was an 18-year-old who had sexual intimacy with a 14-year-old (not 15 as has been speculated). She has plead “not guilty.”

Legal experts in Florida agree that she may have allegedly violated the laws on the books, although she may qualify for the “Romeo and Juliet” exemption, which would not forgive her but would keep her from being labeled as a “sex offender.”

That, however, is mostly denied by the courts. Even in the most permissive courts in the state, it is granted only about 24 percent of the time. She is not headed for one of those courts. Can anyone really look at the relationship of these two girls, even with some discomfort, and come to a conclusion that it is worthy of a felony and a lifelong stigma?

One of the other issues in terms of the Florida law, given that older teen and younger teen peers are intermingling frequently throughout Florida high schools, is to whom it is applied and when.

County Sheriff Deryl Loar, pursuing Kaitlin’s case, is quoted as saying, “When you have vocal victims, that enhances the case.” So I decided to address the “vocal victims,” parent to parent, in an open letter:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. S:

I cannot honestly tell you that I know what you are going through. My sons are both 10 years old. As they grow up over the next few years, I do worry about what kind of relationships they will have and their moral, spiritual, and emotional health. I love them more than anything in the world and want only for their well-being, health, and ultimate happiness.

I cannot imagine that you want less than that for C.S. Obviously, you have had a good deal of contention evidenced by the fact that she ran away from your home in January. I imagine that your issue with her sexuality played a part of that situation, and even though I would not agree with your viewpoint that her sexuality is a “choice” as you see it, this letter is not seeking to discuss that issue or to change your views.

It is, instead, a hope and a plea for a reasoned response to her life and situation. Many families who go through the issues your family is facing end when children take to the streets, commit suicide, or experience other tragic results.

I understand that you do not approve of her relationship with Kaitlyn, or the fact that they have been sexual. I likely would feel similarly about one of my sons at 14 having relations with an 18-year-old.

I also understand that you have the law and all its resources on your side. You are not misusing it. It says what it says, and you are operating accordingly.

Here is a principle that I have used with people in life decisions, which I would like you to consider, however: “Would your rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”

I believe that is exactly the question before you right now. The happiness in question is not minor and it is not only your own, but extends to your daughter, her girlfriend, her girlfriend’s family, and the community beyond.

Your daughter was not molested by a preying predator. She was involved in an overly adultlike relationship with another teen. She was not targeted by someone wanting to do her harm. She was embraced, by someone who loved her and wanted good for her.

As I pointed out, you do have laws on your side, and they too can ignore the fact that no one wished to abuse your daughter. I’d like you to answer one additional question: “How can this end well?” If you pursue it as you intend, and you win, will you have created misery for all involved, including yourselves?

One young woman will be imprisoned and tainted with a label for life. Your daughter will have to wade through the quagmire of resentment toward you and how you demolished the tenderness of her first love. If that were not enough, she will have to fight feeling ostracized by all communities, unable to trust or be trusted in relationships, and be plagued by a confused sense of love and abuse.

I could never do that to one of my sons. I pray that you find it in your heart not to do it to your daughter.

There has got to be a better way to work this out. You have the power to be magnanimous and to effect a positive outcome for all.

What is legal is not always what is spiritually right. It is not what will inspire deep and abiding love and respect within your family.

Please find that kindness, fairness, and compassion. Drop the charges, determine a better way to communicate, and help your daughter start a rich and rewarding life.

- Rob

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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63 more reader comments:

  1. If I read this right they had been dating for 2 years so why is it a problem now?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:22pm
  2. Less than amusing article. The God and Joseph are pedophiles was ignorant and took away from the article. Don’t use such outdated info, 2006 really, I found better stuff and recent. She should have consequences for her actions. Hopefully the trial will enlighten the dark areas.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:30pm
  3. It’s called aging into breaking the law. Personally I think this should make us all re-examine age of consent laws.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:36pm
  4. No. But that would be even creepier. A 16 year old and a 12 year old. Oy.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:37pm
  5. Rob has done an amazing job at articulating the intimate, personal, and far-reaching outcomes that will most likely happen should the charges continue. What is best expressed is the fact that our culture is obsessed with the need to be right, sometimes when we actually are, but sadly, more often when we are not. Too many are blinded to the long-term consequences of this need to be right that damage that is irreversible is done. My hopes are that the family pressing charges comes to terms with the damage they intend to inflict and, ultimately, are prepared for all they stand to lose.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:38pm
  6. Anyone who thinks that their kids will not choose their own time for sexual behaviors is a fool…

    And laws about age of consent are a waste of time. I agree with minor/adult laws, but THIS was not such a relationship!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:39pm
  7. If it were a guy, it would be a different story.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:50pm
  8. i understand the whole thing about age and the law and everything stipulated in the news but in reality what angers me the most that they are making a big deal all because it’s TWO GIRLS. Let’s be real, if it was a straight couple this whole drama wouldn’t be a big issue.
    And yes the law about age and consensual sex should be checked

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7:54pm
  9. redneck state?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:12pm
  10. When does it become pedophilia? Some people don’t think it’s crossed any lines yet, but I’ve lived under the assumption that 18 is the age of consent here, so it’s gonna sit rather wrong with me no matter what. (I understand that it varies from country to country.)

    I also remember being a 15 year old girl…>3>

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:16pm
  11. She (being of age) had sexual encounters with an UNDERAGE child. Those are the facts and no one is arguing that. She(being 18) is guilty and should be punished. period.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:25pm
  12. What the F is an 18 year old woman doing with a 15 year old kid anyways!? She should be arrested and it should have noting to do with her being a lesbian.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:47pm
  13. I am pro gay rights and marriage, but in this case, i’m sorry, but I cannot agree with the writer of this article, because if this was a 18 year old boy and a 15 year old girl having sex, we would all be outraged, we would be calling for the boy’s head, so I ask what’s different here, nothing is different. the 18 year old woman should be charged, this is NOT a gay rights issue, it’s a strictly a legal issue

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:50pm
  14. Interesting developments. It brings the law, the issue of consent, mental/emotional development.

    At what age do we become mentally able to deal with the results of our actions? To be seen as “adults?” Biologically there is no cut off point for the development of the brain.

    I, personally, think it should be handled out of court unless there was rape involved (for same and opposite sex couples). You can’t get mad because teenagers are having sex. You can’t control that. You can only try to guide them to make the best possible decisions. Hormones are flying around in that age range…hell most of them can be labeled as sociopaths (j/k, lol)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:51pm
  15. Thank you for redacting the names of the alleged victim and her parents.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:59pm
  16. 14 years old

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:59pm
  17. It’s pedophilia when one of them is prepubescent and the other is an adult.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:17pm
  18. They went to the same high school and were dating for like a year

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:27pm
  19. Doesn’t matter what her sexuality is. She is 18 and the other girl is 15. No matter how you look at this- it is without question a crime and punishable. Yes, she should be on the sex offender registry. Yes, she should go to jail. Why? Because she KNEW better. No matter how you look at this the 18 year old woman is a pedophile. Plain an simple. That relationship should have ended before she turned 18. Period.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:38pm
  20. Right, o3o and an attraction to teens is technically called “Ephebophilia” if I’m not mistaken.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:40pm
  21. She was still 17 when they first started dating and having sexual encounters. There are 16 year old girls dating 20 year old guys everywhere and you don’t see them in the press every day. Just throwing that out there.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:44pm
  22. 16 years old in Canada and 14 with consent and only 5 years different… 3 years different…. who ever thinks that is Pedophile IS FUCKED to think so!! But again, Canada are at different age … and that not pedophile. I guess depends were ya at!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:49pm
  23. Its called ONLY 3 YEARS DIFFERENT! What’s the big deal?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:51pm
  24. Sasha, do u know how to do Math? 15 – 12 both illegal!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:53pm
  25. Like I said, age of consent differs from country to country.
    But technically teens don’t fall under pedophilia, if you wanna get REALLY technical. xD

    I didn’t quite understand what you meant by the 5 year and 3 year differences. :o

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:54pm
  26. i see couples that are 18 with 25+, I have seen couples loooots that are 3+ up … no one see’s them in articles! Dont female mature faster then boys? so whats the big deal? They are happy and 15 and the other is 18 now, whats the big deal? no one said nothing for two years, which means no one was hurt.. so again whats the big deal?? Nevermind about the friggin law when the law gets broken everyday and shit that does effect us all, Kidnapping and Murder and so on, jail should have room for them, not people who ate 3 years different! Fuck you guys whine for pity shit and make small into big! What’s new!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:05pm
  27. The telling point is that the girl’s parents waited for her birthday before they intervened. They could have done something before this. They waited until they could ruin a life, first.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:10pm
  28. My first boyfriend turned 18 before I turned 15. It happens all the time. They went to school together. Like they were thinking about their slight age difference. And no 18 year old girl in high school is an adult.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:13pm
  29. It’s pedophilia when one of them is prepubescent and the other is an adult. I do not think we can assume what she “knew.” They went to the same high school. It happens all of the time.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:28pm
  30. gay or not the issue is age here

    Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 11:40pm
  31. i dont know how i feel about the revelation that she was already 18 and the other girl still only 14 when they got together, but it doesnt seem to me it should be as criminal as the authorities are trying for. i think the southernish states use these laws to go after inter-racial offenders. there were a couple stories in the news just a couple yrs ago. black boys and white girls,,, angry parents,, horny kids. its a joke, we need a national age of consent, i say 16 or 17, and we need to enforce it fairly.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:06am
  32. Everyone keeps saying she is prepubescent. I don’t see that because puberty starts for girls at different ages. Girls hit puberty between 9 and 12 years of age. The parents knew before she turned 18 that the girls were in a relationship and yet the 15 year olds parents waited until the other girls birthday to do anything why?

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:25am
  33. You’re right. It wouldn’t be touted as a heterosexual issue. It would have been about a stupid kid making a series of stupid decisions that lead to breaking the law and getting caught. It would have spent 30 seconds on a news station, or a 12-line paragraph in a newspaper, instead of a couple of months plastered on the internet.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:33am
  34. No, she was 18. She turned 18 four days before the beginning of the school year. They began dating in November. The sexual relationship started in December. The parents didn’t press charges until February, after Ms. Hunt had ample evidence that the relationship was a problem. The reason why it’s in the news is because her parents went to social media and started a crapstorm about something that isn’t.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:35am
  35. Actually, the minor was 14 during the first sexual encounter.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:36am
  36. Josue, if you had read the arrest affidavit, you would find out that the minor was 14 at the beginning of the relationship, and when the first sexual encounter happened.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:41am
  37. The parents DID try to guide their child. She responded by running away from home and coordinating with her adult lover to go back to said adult lover’s home and once again engage in sex, directly in opposition to the parents’ guidance and wishes, after the adult had been given warning by at least one adult about the issues with that relationship. You may not be able to control your children, but you can sure as hell punish them, and the adult who is leading your child down a path of destruction. By path of destruction, I mean the fact that the minor was previously in advanced classes and varsity sports as a freshman, and all of a sudden, begins acting out against her parents. I’m LGBTQ, and this is NOT an LGBTQ issue.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:44am
  38. This proves what is wrong with parents raised, Groomed, Manipulated into a culture of ignorance and intolerance they then Inflict upon their Lesbian Daughter the deluded immoral beliefs that she cannot be what she was Born to be a Lesbian!

    How can their daughter ever truly respect and love her parents again? Trust has been broken by their selfish deluded desires for a Daughter who is clearly not what they wanted her to be!
    This is parental Homophobia at the highest level, their desire to destroy Two young lives, Deeply saddening and sickening indeed! ;o(

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 2:24am
  39. Lol that’s what a lot of parents think about their teens.

    I don’t know their home life so I cannot comment on that. It’s getting this much attention because it is involving 2 girls. Yet I also cannot comment on exactly the reason why they involved the law so I don’t know if it’s a lgbtq issue.

    I’m not sure getting this much legal and media attention and potentially ruining a person’s life is the best decision. I think people are underestimating the maturity of teens or even overexaggerating the maturity of 18 year Olds.

    I believe I also read that they had been broken up for a month before charges were brought forth

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 2:42am
  40. First, let’s make sure we all have the same facts. The ages of the girls when they started this relationship were 14 and 18. The parents did not wait until the older girl turned 18. The younger girl DID run away to be with the older girl.

    Second, the OTHER facts: they were both attending the same high school. They were in extracurricular activities together. The younger girl ran away after her parents tried to forbid the relationship.

    Everyone who hasn’t had a daughter that age in a relationship needs to shut up and listen. They will do what THEY want in their relationship. And if they decide they will become sexually active, your only options are to attempt to ensure she’s safe, or make her be sexually active in as unsafe a way as possible.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 2:49am
  41. They were in the same sports team, shared clases and were in the same group of friends. If it’s ilegal for them to fall in love, then the school shouldn’t have put them together in the first place.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 4:34am
  42. The parents don’t care if they have to kill their own daughter, they will rather that, than be ashamed of having a gay child… They should never had been parents in the first place…

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 5:28am
  43. This is horrible,I see it as another case of discrimination. people are trying to ruin this young woman’s life. bastards.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 6:46am
  44. Perfectly said!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 7:07am
  45. So agreed!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 7:09am
  46. Homophobia? & Get the hurtful revenge when it looks at it’s worst, money, book rights? Evil will do what evil can do, very sad!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 7:12am
  47. This is sad and as far as ‘teens having sex’ sadly that is what the generation has come to, that it is thought of by most teens as “ok” or “normal” and adults cannot deny that it is sadly main stream. Being 21, having grown up in this generation, knowing I might have kids in a few years down the road, I would accept my children for no matter what they choose, and teach my children more about safe sex, instead of waiting till their 30 because even though that would be nice, it’s not realistic, and I would rather be realistic with my kids than have them lie to me. As far as the magic # 18, her parents should be HAPPY because she cannot get pregnant, and spend their time teaching about safe sex, not arresting and labeling young women as “sex offenders” and ruining their life!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 9:40am
  48. I think the root point of Rob’s argument IS the distinction between what is legal and what is a natural occurrence between people (sex), especially for developing teens. The legal elements and the “hormone” elements are not congruous. What get’s overlooked here is that these two girls have been in a relationship for some time. Because one turns 18, it is egregious to suddenly label her a sexual predator. Rob states the distinct difference between an ongoing consensual relationship and the motives of a sexual predator. We don’t label boys who have been dating girls prior to the age of 18, who then turn 18, as sexual predators, otherwise, there would be a lot of boys being sent to jail.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 9:46am
  49. Sad the parents waited until her girlfriend turned 18 then charged her. Unbelievable how some people are so sneaky and full of revenge.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:30am
  50. This whole story got way out of hand….this could have been easily resolved by the parents sitting down and having a thoughtful conversation and resolution….BUT NO…they had to go all crazy and sh#t….ugh!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:31am
  51. that’s a bunch of shit! I never was sexual with another not until I was 19, out of high school and in college. And I HAVE hormone problems. Not ever teenager thinks of sex, dude/ette. Get a life.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:37am
  52. 14 year-old… and she was 18 the whole time. Lots of misinformation. Read the reports, not the blogs. Younger girls parents say they tried to tell 18 year-old twice to stop. But when 14 year-old ran away… and found with 18 year-old, they called the cops. I’m with Christine… I had more important things to do in high school… like learn, develop socially. Sexual actions in a bathroom stall was not on my to-do list.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:51am
  53. As I mentioned, she was expelled for sex with a minor in a school bathroom. Not for having a relationship.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:53am
  54. Saying that “kids are kids. They have hormones. Let’s accept it” is not a good reason to leave them alone and condone what happened.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:55am
  55. Please get informed properly, look up the affidavit for goodness sake. She was 18 when she engaged in the activity with the younger student. It was illegal by law.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:01pm
  56. This proves what is wrong with parents raised, Groomed, Manipulated into a culture of ignorance and intolerance they then Inflict upon their Lesbian Daughter the deluded immoral beliefs that she cannot be what she was Born to be a Lesbian!

    How can their daughter ever truly respect and love her parents again? Trust has been broken by their selfish deluded desires for a Daughter who is clearly not what they wanted her to be!
    This is parental Homophobia at the highest level, their desire to destroy Two young lives, Deeply saddening and sickening indeed! ;o(

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:17pm
  57. Ukstopgaybully…little mellow dramatic there? No where does this article say anything about the 14yo’s parents disowning/disgracing her for being a lesbian (or bisexual for all we know) it is talking about a legal adult having sexual relations with a minor….two totally different things. And THAT is what the parents are upset about. As a mother I understand on some level what these parents are thinking and I’d do the same thing if I had to. This legal adult had sex with a 14yo. Think about it!! Who gives a fuck if they’re both girls, that’s not the point. I wouldn’t want an 18yo girl OR boy having sex with my 14yo daughter. HELLO PEOPLE!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:35pm
  58. I appreciate you standing up for the rights of gays, lesbians etc but seriously…you’re an idiot.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:37pm
  59. In all honesty if my 15 year old daughter was dating an 18 year old guy, I would bust him so hard it would make his head spin.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:47pm
  60. one can not condone it and still not take the step that will damage both their lives.

    Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:01pm
  61. sorry but i can’t support her…

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 12:42am
  62. i cannot support a person who have sex with a 14 year old girl… the parent did what they think is right and i don’t give a shit about love in here… having sex with a minor is against the law and that’s that…

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 12:44am
  63. This is not about being gay or homophobia, it is about an 18 year old having sex with a 14 year old. I don’t care if the 18 year old is gay, straight or bi it is wrong.

    Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 8:35am