Kaitlyn Hunt is an 18-year-old Florida high school student, cheerleader and member of the basketball team. She met and fell in love with another girl on her team and the two started dating. No big deal, right? Well, it is as big deal because Kaitlyn is in love with a girl who is three years and seven months younger than her, and according to Florida law, their sexual relationship is a crime. Now the the 18-year-old honor student is facing felony sex crime charges and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. She was arrested in February, but her family went public with her story this month because they believe they are the being persecuted because Kaitlyn is gay and her girlfriend's parents are opposed to homosexuality.
Her supporters started a Facebook page to draw attention to her plight.
In a press conference yesterday, Kaitlyn said, "I'm scared of losing the rest of my life, not being able to go to college, and be around kids, and my sisters, and my family."
According to the Facebook page, Kaitlyn's girlfriend insists that their relationship was consensual and that Kaitlyn did not coerce her in any way. They were two girls who ran in the same social circles, took the same classes. They considered each other peers. The law, however, does not.
A petition was started on Change.org that as of this writing has more than 250,000 signatures in support of Kaitlyn.
Age of consent laws exist to protect young people from unwanted sexual contact from adults, but is justice being served here? Kaitlyn must decide by Friday whether to accept a plea deal, which would still charge her with a felony crime, but could keep her out of jail--or if she should risk trial where she could end up in prison for 15 years. What do you think of this whole situation? Is Kaitlyn being singled out because she is gay? Are age of consent laws fair? Should sex between an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old be a felony? Add your thoughts below.
If you didn't pay close attention, you might not have noticed that three states just legalized same-sex marriage. In the past 10 days, Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have become 10th, 11th and 12th states in the US to legalize same-sex marriage. And although it's been reported on, gay marriage is no longer front page news it once was. What the heck is happening? Is the tide finally changing for good? Are we on our way to full marriage equality?
So much has changed in the ten years since I first started writing the Lesbian Life page on About.com in 2003. At that time, I didn't think marriage equality was even a remote possibility. I remember when the first couple was married in the US in San Francisco in 2004. I was so excited, I hopped a plane to San Francisco to be part of history.
I sat back this week and reflected on all the changes that I've witnessed since I started writing this blog. What about you? Have you gotten married in a state where it is legal? How do you think things have changed since 2004? Where do we still need to go? Share your thoughts below.
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Even as adults, it can be hard sometimes to tell if the person you are crushed out on is also a lesbian and if she's interested in you as well. For teenage lesbians, the issue is compounded by the fact that sometimes teens are still figuring out for themselves if they like girls, boys or both. That can make the world of dating especially tricky. So, what is a teen lesbian to do if she's out and proud, but doesn't know if her crush is a lesbian or not? And what about the friendly behavior? Is that a sign that she's interested, or is she just being friendly?
© Janet Goulden
When should someone with HIV disclose her status to the new person she is dating? Should it come before the first date? Before the first kiss? Before the first sex?
A lesbian with HIV has had some negative experiences after revealing her HIV status to women she was dating and she wanted to know if she was doing the right thing. What would you do if the woman you started dating told you she had HIV?
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