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Females figures with hearts between them.
Florida teen Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, is seeing her young life turned upside down and her future jeopardized simply because she fell in love. Unfortunately for her, she fell in love with a younger girl who has vindictive bigots for parents.
Hunt was a highly respected student at Florida’s Sebastian River High School with good grades and participation in cheerleading, basketball and chorus. She was even voted “most school spirit.”

All of that changed when she started dating a fellow student, a girl she met on the basketball team, at the beginning of the school year.

She was kicked off the basketball team because of the potential for "drama" her presence created. She's been vilified by fellow students, called “criminal,” “rapist” and “child abuser.” She was expelled from school. And far worse. She's facing a lifetime label of "sex-offender," because the other girl's parents brought criminal charges against her despite the fact that the relationship was consensual. What's more, according to Hunt's parents, Hunt was 17 when the relationship began, but the other girl's parents waited until after she turned 18 to go to police.

Unbelievably, prosecutors have decided to press the criminal charge. Now Hunt is faced with two choices, either of which could ruin her life: an outrageous plea deal or taking a chance in her conservative community on a jury trial. The deal she's being offered is to plead guilty and be sentenced to two years of house arrest, being allowed only to go to work or school. A judge would then determine if she would have to register as a sex offender. Her alternative is to face jury trial in her conservative community, where she could face a 15-year prison sentence and be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Because she and another girl fell in love with each other.

Please sign our petition asking the state attorney to drop this prosecution.

Thu May 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM PT: The public scrutiny of this case has brought to light problems with the initial reporting, and with the original story coming from the Hunt family. Previously, Hunt's parents said that the younger girl was 15, and Hunt 17 when the relationship began. The release of the arrest warrant made clear, as subsequent news stories report, that the younger girl was 14 and Hunt was indeed 18 when the relationship began.

These corrections, and the initial dishonesty of Hunt's parents, make this story much more problematic, and our original petition moot.


Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of all the heart breaking news lately (14+ / 0-)

    This is the worst.

    However, this is also the one area that equality is moving in the right direction, we need to rally for her,NOW

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:59:16 AM PDT

    •  This is not an inequality issue (9+ / 0-)

      unless you believe that the parents are pursuing this harshly because they're bigoted. (I do.) Then it's not an institutional inequality issue, just one involving this family.

      State law on this is gender-neutral.

      Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

      by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:33:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps one should compile a list... (8+ / 0-)

        of all the romantic relationships where one party is 18 or older and the other party is not to present to the court.

        This smacks of selective prosecution.

        I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+4 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder! NR since 3/7/12.

        by Josiah Bartlett on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:43:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it doesn't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, auapplemac

          Unless you're talking about the parents "selecting" to prosecute their daughter's girlfriend because they don't agree with her choices.

          Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

          by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:48:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Parents do not "prosecute" (6+ / 0-)

            Parents file a complaint.

            Ultimately it is the prosecutor's decision one way or another. The parents could file a civil suit - possibly.

            A good prosecutor would have to look at the patterns of other such cases and make sure that this isn't a total outlier b/c of the female relationship.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

            by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:53:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright, auapplemac

              The State does not arbitrarily decide to file or not file. They have guidelines and mandates. You have evidence a crime was committed, you have to file and play it out. That's how the justice system works.

              The Prosecutor is not some kind of legal god that just makes decisions however they please, PARTICULARLY when the parents are zealously pursuing prosecution.

              And by the way - sadly, the "patterns of other cases" in this situation often play out in exactly this manner.

              Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

              by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:04:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As a former prosecutor. . . (23+ / 0-)

                Will you please take my word that prosecutorial discretion is a huge part of the criminal justice system?

                Ask the prosecutor how many 18 year old girls have been prosecuted for sex with 15 year old boys. Selective prosecution, can be abused, but it is also inherent in the system. Have you ever heard the phrase "and we'll drop these charges. . ?"

                I am not saying this isn't a very complex issue, it IS and one can argue both sides. But, it is hard to get away from thinking that a large part of this is the "type" of relationship this is.

                Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:09:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wouldn't you have to see how many (0+ / 0-)

                  such cases are reported?

                  Ask the prosecutor how many 18 year old girls have been prosecuted for sex with 15 year old boys.
                  Also, why shouldn't they be asking how many 18 year old boys have been prosecuted for sex for 15 year old girls?
              •  Prosecutorial discretion means what it says (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B, ggrzw

                You seem to imply that because a citizen files a complaint, that prosecutors are mandated by law to pursue a conviction of the accused.  That is not correct.

                First, the prosecutor must evaluate that if the allegation were to be proved true, that it would sufficiently satisfy violation of current statute(s).

                Second, the prosecutor must be satisfied that any police investigation has revealed sufficient evidence to reasonably secure a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

                Third, depending on available evidence, or lack thereof, the prosecutor must determine if available witnesses will be cooperative and credible on behalf of the state.

                Fourth, the prosecutor must weigh the need to allocate available resources to priority cases - hence the aggressive efforts to secure a plea agreement on lesser charges, in order to make "nuisance cases" like this "go away."

                The point is, contrary to your (sincere) belief, prosecutors in every state in the land have wide discretion as to deciding which cases to prosecute.  To be fair, depending on jurisdiction, such "discretion" is often compromised by political considerations and public temperament.

                "The highest patriotism is not blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

                by Progressive Pride on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:29:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The law may be gender neutral, I'm not so sure (8+ / 0-)

        about the application of it.

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:44:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. . . that was my point: (5+ / 0-)

          And, when comparing - one has to look at it from the defendant's point of view. So, the question to ask is how many 18 year old women have been prosecuted for sexual relations with a 15 year old boy.

          My guess is that the state has NEVER done so - and I will leave without comment most "views" of such a situation would be.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

          by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:51:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why is that? (0+ / 0-)
            And, when comparing - one has to look at it from the defendant's point of view.  So, the question to ask is how many 18 year old women have been prosecuted for sexual relations with a 15 year old boy.
            Why not look at it from the victim's point of view?

            After all, when these are racial cases (ie. a black man being accused of murder for a killing that is arguably self defense) don't we usually ask "Would he be prosecuted if he was white?"

        •  What, so for every 50 similar cases (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, MarkW53

          that these folks deal with, maybe 1 is a same-sex case? And you believe they're treated differently? On what basis are you making that claim?

          You don't hear about those other cases because they're not news. And don't get me wrong, I'm GLAD this is news, it draws attention to bigotry and demands action.

          But it's the PARENTS who are bigots, not the State.

          Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

          by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:51:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The State is enabling their bigotry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Marti, sturunner, Old Sailor

            and the law is an ass if it "compels" the State to do so.

            •  No, the State (4+ / 0-)

              is protecting minors from sexual advances by older people who are OFTEN not very nice.

              That's not the case here, probably. Certainly doesn't seem like it. And you could make a good argument that the law itself is inherently unfair and should be modified.

              But you cannot make an argument that it's inherently biased; not when this same situation happens all the time to hetero couples.

              Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

              by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:34:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you saying police regularly bug the phones (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sturunner, Old Sailor

                of hetero couples?

                Certainly there is strong evidence of bias here in the operation of the state: the wiretapping, the waiting until the girl was eligible to be prosecuted as an adult. Do you have evidence that these things "happen all the time to heterosexual couples"?

                •  Yeah, actually it does in FL (9+ / 0-)

                  I was a newspaper reporter here in the Sunshine State for 20 years, and these things do happen quite a bit here - almost always to 18-year-old boys in consensual relationships with younger girls. The girl's parents object to the relationship, and go to the police as soon as the boy turns 18.

                  That said, there is definitely also bigotry involved here - my understanding is the parents are accusing the 18-year-old girl of "turning their daughter gay."

                  I strongly dislike this law, because it treats teenagers under the influence of their hormones the same as it does a sexual predator. In several of the cases I've encountered, the couple continues the relationship once both parties turn 18, and I've even seen marriages result from these relationships. But the older partner is still branded a sex offender for life.

                  I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

                  by ObamOcala on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:58:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RainyDay

                    I'm sick of this thread, and the hate for prosecutors who are treating this NO differently than they'd treat a hetero couple in the same situation.

                    That's not to say the LAW isn't a bit screwed up, but it's not biased against same-sex couples.

                    Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                    by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:04:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Uh, wait a minute. (4+ / 0-)

                      I was tracking ok with your posting and then this last one kind of threw me. I have to call BS on your statement that prosecutors are treating this no differently than they would with a hetero couple.

                      As a mental health professional who works with the courts - both civil and criminal - I see the DA pursue some cases, and others, no.

                      Ultimately, the family reports the matter to the police; the police investigate, arrest, and the DA gets the case. The DA, at that point, can decide whether to pursue the complaint or not. I see this so much in criminal court I can't even begin to count - domestic violence cases, controlled substance cases - you name it.

                      No one hates prosecutors Surly. But if you can't see at least a minimal bias in this case against the defendant, then I'm not sure what to tell you. If all the DA did was prosecute cases in which two teens, ages 15 and up were engaged in sexual behavior - and one of them was 18 - I suspect that the court system would be clogged beyond what it already is. A dose of common sense is needed in this case. Just my opinion.

                      •  In my opinion (0+ / 0-)

                        the zealousness with which these kinds of cases are pursued by the SA is usually proportional to the amount of time the victim's family puts into harassing the Prosecutor and Victim Advocate.

                        These are often cases where a family decides "no one messes with my little girl" and is VERY vocal and persistent in seeking the harshest possible penalties. And sometimes they're justified in doing so, and sometimes they're not.

                        What I'm saying is, relative to the level of pressure from the family to prosecute (which is high in this case,) this case is being treated no differently than any other case with similar circumstances. They TRY to treat all cases exactly equally, but often you have both parties reluctant to prosecute, parents of the victim cool off a bit and realize what they could be doing to someone's future, etc, and they back down a bit, or a lot. And the prosecution is less harsh in those instances. As it should be.

                        This one is a bit harsher than maybe it could be, yes. That's normal if you've got a family like these people, or alternately, a truly aggrieved family whose daughter fell into what they consider a "dangerous" relationship with a guy, for whatever reason. Same reaction, same result.

                        That's what I meant. It's not the SA that's bigoted here, it's the family, and the SA's ability to reduce penalties/drop charges etc is to a large degree dependent on the victim's family playing ball.

                        They're not playing ball.

                        Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                        by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:50:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gramofsam1

                          My thought was that a careful examination of the case should have been done by the DA prior to the pursuit of any charges being filed. It didn't even seem like the DA questioned it. Certainly you are correct that the family of the victim can pressure the prosecutors office to act.

                          However, my opinion is that this was piling on. Her being expelled despite a judge's order that she could stay in school and the ostracizing that she is currently experiencing; coupled with the close proximity in age that these two girls share. These have nothing to do with the DA of course, but if the DA were to pursue a limited charge against this girl, the family could always pursue something civil if they felt that the DA didn't go far enough. The prosecutor had options.

                          Any self respecting Public Defender would never agree to the deal being offered by the DA and certainly no criminal defense attorney worth anything would do so either. Leaving the parents aside for the moment, the DA had options. They didn't have to push the letter of the law in this case given its circumstances. I've seen this all the time in California. Maybe they just don't care in Florida? Anyway, good post. We'll see what happens.

                        •  Exactly what is "these people"? (0+ / 0-)
                          That's normal if you've got a family like these people,
                          Can you explain exactly what you mean by that?  Seems like you are trying to make a negative comment about the victim's family.  Can you explain exactly what you are trying to say about them and provide your evidence?
                          •  The victims here are the two girls (0+ / 0-)

                            and their abusers are the hater parents of the younger girl -- and the lawyers involved in the persecution of Kaitlyn.

                            In other words, the usual suspects, where LGBT is involved.

                            The legal system has been instrumental in the oppression of minorities (and sometimes majorities, such as women) in this country since its foundation.

                            It's clear that there is animus and bias against Kaitlyn because she is a lesbian, and those with the animus hide their true hatred of lesbians under cover of a legal fiction - a chalk mark they have drawn on the pavement. She crossed their chalk mark, which is a challenge to their authority, and they respond like the male gorilla at the zoo when you cup your breast at him -- with bellowing.

                            I'd guess there is homologous neural circuitry involved in both responses.

                          •  Evidence please (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Surly Cracker
                            The victims here are the two girls
                            Kaitlyn is an 18 year old who was sleeping with a 15 year old.  You might or might not consider that acceptable if the 15 year old was your daughter, but I think you would admit many families would not.  

                            Whether or not her acts should be criminal, they are criminal and they are certainly morally iffy - a 15 year old is at best just over the line of what is acceptable.

                            Kaitlyn is a problematic victim at best.

                            their abusers are the hater parents of the younger gir
                            "hater" of what?  Of adults who have sex with their 15 year old daughter?  Presumably.  But I think you mean something different - probably haters of homosexuals.  Can you provide any evidence for this potentially libelous claim?
                            and the lawyers involved in the persecution of Kaitlyn.
                            You mean the prosecutors?  Well, I guess we now consider rapists (yes, legally Kaitlyn is a rapist) to be victims of prosecutors if the rapists are gay.
                            It's clear that there is animus and bias against Kaitlyn because she is a lesbian, and those with the animus hide their true hatred of lesbians under cover of a legal fiction - a chalk mark they have drawn on the pavement.
                            Really?  Where is the evidence for this?  For example, do these prosecutors have a history of refusing to prosecute similar cases between 18 year old boys and 15 year old girls when the parents of the 15 year old girl press charges?
                            She crossed their chalk mark,
                            Well, so much for statutory rape laws.  Maybe the next priest who diddles a 12 year old should try this approach.
                            which is a challenge to their authority, and they respond like the male gorilla at the zoo when you cup your breast at him -- with bellowing.
                            Sorry... I thought you said the prosecution was because they don't like gays.  Can you make up your mind?
                          •  Was referring to the victim's family (0+ / 0-)

                            And their public statements that the accused "Made their daughter gay." In THIS case, they are aggrieved both for a somewhat legitimate reason (an adult had sex with their minor child) and an illegitimate one (they don't agree with their daughter's sexuality.)

                            In any case, it's driving them to pursue the harshest possible punishment, and in my opinion that has more to do with the second point than the first.

                            Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

                            by Surly Cracker on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:59:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah... now we've got an allegation (0+ / 0-)
                            Was referring to the victim's family (0+ / 0-)
                            And their public statements that the accused "Made their daughter gay."
                            Evidence for these alleged public statements please?
                            In any case, it's driving them to pursue the harshest possible punishment, and in my opinion that has more to do with the second point than the first.
                            Can you provide the evidence upon which you are basing your opinion?  Or is it just prejudice?
                  •  The police in FL regularly tap teenagers' phones? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sturunner

                    If that is true, I'd say we need to promote an open source app for 256 bit end to end voice encryption. There is one available for iPhone for $4.99. All kids apparently need to use this technology.

                    •  Most teens would be smart to encrypt their... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...communications, given that these events can result.

                      Best to get started early so your response to "why are you encrypting your communications" can be "I always encrypt."

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:48:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, even hetero kids (0+ / 0-)

                  have their parent's "wiretapping" (more accurately stated as the parents recorded a phone call to their teenage daughter) their phones, at least the good ones (parents) do.

                  •  I wouldn't call a parent who can't respect (0+ / 0-)

                    the need of a child for privacy a "good" parent. I would that parent a controlling parent.

                    Children are not the private property of their parents.

                    I sincerely hope that voice encryption apps become commonplace. There is clearly a major need for them.

              •  How do you know the older girl is not a sexual (0+ / 0-)

                predator?

                If this was a statutory rape case with an 18 year old boy and a 15 year old girl would anyone be coming to the boy's defense here?

        •  I don't have the statistics, but... (4+ / 0-)

          I would bet that the vast majority of prosecutions under that law are for mixed-gender couples.  I am personally acquainted with one such case, where they never even got to 3rd base, but the one who was 18 at the time is now a registered sex offender.

          GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

          by NormAl1792 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:52:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You think this wouldn't happen with a het couple? (4+ / 0-)

          Parents outraged that their precious daughter was (gasp! clutch pearls!) sexual, and waiting until the other party turned 18 to file a complaint?

          I don't have citations or statistics but it's rumored to be a common pattern.

          Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

          by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:02:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I intended to be: (4+ / 0-)

          I'm not so sure the application of the law is gender neutral in this case.

          The parents of the younger girl, according to the news story, did not go to Kaitlyn or her parents with their concerns.  They went directly to the police.  Hence, my questioning of their motives.

          We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

          by The Marti on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:38:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If an 18 year old man was having sex with my 14 or (3+ / 0-)

            15 year old daughter, and I found out, I am not entirely sure that I would not go to the police myself.  

            She would have never been allowed to date an 18 year old nor been allowed to hang out with a man that age, nor given permission to do anything like that, so I would be stunned and horrified, and my own reaction might have been the same as the parents we are discussing.

            •  When I was 15 (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Penny GC, lina, gramofsam1

              I had a crush on an 18 year old boy, who turned 19 a week after high school graduation. If we'd dated (he was very shy though) and if things had taken the standard progression, he very well could have been considered a sex offender.

              That young man is now known on these pages as Mr. Scribe; chased him for 13 years till he caught me. :-)

              A 15 year old is the equivalent of a high school freshman or sophomore, an 18 year old the equivalent of a senior especially if they've had to repeat a year -- Mr. Scribe actually repeated kindergarten because his teacher felt he wasn't socially advanced enough to handle first grade (that shyness again). If your daughter is in any high school clubs or groups, chances are she's going to be "hanging out" with boys (and girls) that age. Now, one on one dating is another story, and as long as your daughter is under 18 you've got the right (and responsibility) to set any ground rules you want. But unless you send a private detective to follow your daughter everywhere she goes, you can't really prevent her "hanging out" with anyone she wishes...even (shudder) Republicans. ;-)

              (And you would have been totally scandalized by me; one of my earliest college romances was with a man 14 years my senior.)

              There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

              by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:30:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh please (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1, nswalls

              They played together on the same basketball team for god's sake...they were in classes together (the younger girl was taking more advanced classes).  They were thrown together socially....in that scenario, how are kids (gay or straight) supposed to draw lines based on birth dates.  It's not like she was a predator or they didn't hang out with the same peers.

              also, for the record, playing on teams together is a common way for girls who are gay to find their first girlfriend.  I know because it happened to me.

              •  Doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

                SEX was involved. (It must have been, because they were in a same-SEX relationship, right?). SEX is all that matters to some people... who always seem to be of the male persuasion.

                If SEX was involved between two girls, the male lawyers and the law have every right to be prurient professionally interested in what laws were broken. And if laws were broken, then the little witch sex offender must be punished. That's called "gender equality": we have to punish girls who love each other exactly as we do males who rape, because -- it's equality.

              •  15 will get you 20 (3+ / 0-)

                That phrase is older than both of the kids in this story.

          •  It's statutory rape you idiot! (4+ / 0-)
            The parents of the younger girl, according to the news story, did not go to Kaitlyn or her parents with their concerns.  They went directly to the police.  Hence, my questioning of their motives.
            If your child was raped (statutory or otherwise) would you go to the perpetrator's parents or to the police?!?
      •  Evidence please? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, Andrew Lazarus
        unless you believe that the parents are pursuing this harshly because they're bigoted. (I do.)
        I think a lot of parents would also be extremely upset if an 18 year old boy was having sex with their 15 year old daughter.  In fact, many might prefer an 18 year old girl - no concerns about pregnancy and only a minute risk of STDs.
    •  The worst of all the heart breaking news lately?!? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Man from Scene 24

      Can we all come live with you on the Big Rock Candy Mountain?

  •  She's not alone (31+ / 0-)

    All over the country, young people are charged with sex crimes for having consensual with a girlfriend/boyfriend who's only a year or two younger.

    Usually, it's the upset parents of the slightly younger child who brings the effort on these kinds of charges.  

    We want to throw all "sex cases" into a black-and-white world when the real sometimes grey.  Sad really.

    The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:01:00 AM PDT

    •  Agreed (24+ / 0-)

      A guy I went to high school with is on the Sex Offender list for having consensual sex with the woman who is now his wife when she was 16 and he was 18.  Now they're 35 & 33... married... four kids.

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fortunately, more and more states have... (26+ / 0-)

      ...close in age "Romeo and Juliet" laws that ease and penalties and eliminate the sex offender registration (although the sex remains a crime because of the ages involved). Florida has such a law, but it's designed to provide some leeway for individuals up to 23 to who have sex with individuals who are 16-17 years olds. The spirit of that law might be invoked by the judge, who has extensive discretion in such matters. We can only hope s/he exercises that discretion in a reasonable way.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That law should apply (11+ / 0-)

        in FL, if the case isn't dropped. It'll be a test, though, since it's never been applied to a same-sex relationship.

        "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

        by Joan McCarter on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:09:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem in this case though (6+ / 0-)

          is that the other girl is (or was at the time) 15 years old.  So Florida's law does not help here.

          794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.—
          (1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, “sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.
          http://archive.flsenate.gov/...
          •  Well then! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Marti
            penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another
            No dick, no sex?  

            Maybe this law doesn't apply after all.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:26:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What the heck does "or union with" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lgmcp

              mean? It's kind of unclear...especially since there is a line about "an act done for a bona fide medical purpose." I don't think there's ever a "bona fide medical purpose" for having someone's dick in your mouth...

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:31:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe they put the doctor bit into the law ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... to make absolutely sure that doctors couldn't be prosecuted by some DA with a warped and perverted anti-doctor bias? Or, maybe this was the product of effective AMA lobbying?

            •  No. (3+ / 0-)

              Genital penetration acts as a sort of aggravator, increasing the severity of the penalty sought, but the law is 'union with' with genitals.

              Key phrase: "penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another;"

              Meaning third base, loosely defined.

              Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

              by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:37:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If they apply it to oral or digital (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lgmcp

              penetration, then it might apply...but then again, is there any proof that the two actually engaged in any sexual activity, or were they just "dating" with the occasional heavy kissing session?

              There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

              by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:35:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  They have a Romeo and Juliet statute (0+ / 0-)

            for people up to age 23. So that part of the code isn't applicable.

            "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

            by Joan McCarter on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:27:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Age of consent is still 16 (14+ / 0-)

              I don't think you right on that. As I understand, having sex with someone under the age of 16 is a crime regardless. And as a father in the state of Florida, I don't think I disagree. I seriously doubt anyone would be rushing to sign a petition about an 18-year-old man having sex with a 15-year-old girl he met while playing high school basketball. This isn't about gay rights, it's about statutory rape. I realize there are plenty of problems with that law, but I can't buy into this cause.

              Take my liberal card away, I guess, but suggesting that an adult having sex with a 15-year-old hasn't broken the law and in fact deserves our sympathy, even our support, doesn't hold water for me. I am an unapologetic supporter of gay rights, but I'm also a father. Believing everybody has the right to love who they love is a far cry from saying people legally of age should be allowed to have sex with people who can't yet legally drive themselves around. An 18-year-old with a 15-year-old is in an authority role with their partner. That's not a consensual relationship. In fact, this is exactly why statutory rape laws exist in the first place. Sexuality has nothing to do with it.

              Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

              by Southernlib on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:45:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hear hear! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ManhattanMan

                Yours is the progressive position and I am ashamed to be associated with anyone signing that petition.

                Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:10:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Continued (5+ / 0-)

                Its actually worse than this. I don't agree with Southernlib about the morality of the 18/15 sexual relationship. I think that it is more "moral" than he seems to, but it doesn't matter. The fact is that we as a society have decided that 18/15 relationships are wrong.

                Selective prosecution of this law, sure. Same thing as selective racial prosecution of drug laws or driving laws or whatever, but you can't argue the underlying law.

                You can argue that the law shouldn't exist. (I think I would, but Southernlib wouldn't.) But I don't think you can argue to ignore the statutory rape law in this case but not generally.

                Take it easy, but take it.

                by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:12:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You can, however (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey

                  argue that this is a selective and prejudicial application of the law.

                  You'd need the data to back it up, of course.

                  •  It was 17-15, not 18-15. But age of consent is 16. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FloridaSNMOM, ltsply2

                    The older girl was arrested on her 18th birthday. Unless she'd gotten a little nookie since midnight, all relating in this relationship happened before she turned 18.

                    But the core point remains: it's illegal in Florida for anybody to have sex with anybody who's under 16, same-sex or opposite-sex. That's a harsh law, and perhaps even a crazy law, but it is the law. The Romeo & Juliet clause makes the penalties lighter if the older person is under 23, but it doesn't lower the age of consent; it's still 16.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:20:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, there's a key point there: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey, ltsply2
                      That's a harsh law, and perhaps even a crazy law, but it is the law.
                      When proper application of a law has consequences that seem unconscionable, there are three basic ways you can take that:

                      1) These consequences are so terrible that the law must be altered or eliminated.

                      2) Even though these consequences are terrible, the law is the law and must be maintained.  (Optional addition: the law must be maintained because the consequences of altering/eliminating it would be worse.)

                      3) These consequences are so terrible that the law must not be applied in this case.

                      There's possibly a fourth way, but I can't think what it might be.  I don't care much for (3); if one exception is necessary, others are likely to be necessary too -- and the law should be altered to take the appropriate circumstances into account.

                    •  it may be harsh and crazy (0+ / 0-)

                      but it's fairly common.  Another quirk is that federal child porn laws talk about kids under 18.  So in many states like Florida, you can have sex with a 16 year old, no crime, but if you take a picture of it, then it's child porn.

                    •  You are making up facts (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey

                      According to the FB page, the relationship did not turn intimate until after Kaitlyn turned 18.

                      •  Thanks for correction(?) (0+ / 0-)

                        I got that from the article in The Advocate, which says she was arrested "upon" her 18th birthday: http://www.advocate.com/...

                        The Facebook page seems to be more authoritative.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:32:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Funny. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                The state of Florida has no problem with charging 15 year old kids as adults when they are committing petty crimes. They are considered old enough to understand the ramifications of their actions. Yet when it comes to sex, this law argues that no 15 year old is capable of understanding the ramifications of sex, and so can not give consent, even when she is doing so enthusiastically. What is worse is that this only becomes a criminal offense by the arbitrary standard of the older girl turning 18. Instantly an ill-advised relationship becomes a crime, even though were the younger girl just a few months older, it would still not be a crime.

                This is not to say that this sort of relationship is a good idea. I would not have a problem if the parents were coming between them. My problem is viciousness shown by the younger girls parents. If anyone involved in this affair should be in jail, it's them

                You're right. You should turn in your liberal card. Your attitude and beliefs disgust me.

                Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

                by rhonan on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:46:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wow! (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blue91, ltsply2, Clem Yeobright, lina

                  I'm not sure you've looked at the law very closely. Here's my card as promised, I guess, but I'm a little surprised I disgusted you when you acknowledge a sexual relationship between an 18- and 15-year-old is not not necessarily a good idea.

                  For what it's worth, the fact this girl is 18 has less to do with this case than people may think if they base their understanding of statutory law on episodes of teen dramas. The real issue here is not the age of the perpetrator but of the victim. The younger girl was not of age of consent. If there is an issue with the defendant being 18, it may be that she is more likely to be tried as an adult, though someone else here noted that since she was arrested on her 18th birthday, the offense was when she was 17. Doesn't change the fact, however, that she was having sex with a child.

                  I can only guess that I wondered off the path of righteousness when I suggested a 15-year-old is not old enough to give consent in a sexual relationship. I would note a 15-year-old cannot vote, drink, drive without an adult in the car, buy an R-rated movie ticket or rent a tool at home depot, and I think having sex is a more important decision than most, if not all, of those things.

                  I acknowledge I am biased here, though. I have a son and a daughter who are just a few years from 15 themselves. So I think they are or will be mature enough to make such choices at that point? I do not. Perhaps a 15-year-old me might have felt different, but the boy wearing Star Trek T-shirts to school and stuttering when he talked to girls wasn't faced with that choice. Looking back, it seems there are many signs I lacked the maturity then to make a choice on having sex.

                  So I stand by my argument. And incidentally, I posed it not so much as an ardent defense of statutory law but because I don't like this being held up as a gay rights cause. I support gay marriage, gay adoptions, visitation rights, any and everything to ensure gay people are allowed the same rights as everybody, rights which have been denied by society at large for far too long. With that dream of equality, though, I believe everybody is also equally responsible for their own sexual behavior. The laws apply. I expect a senior in high school dating a freshman to restrain themselves sexually until both members of the relationship can make a clear-headed decision on sex. I don't think being a liberal means relieving people of basic responsibility.

                  We can disagree on statutory. I don't think that means we disagree on gay rights. And I don't think this is the best cause de celebre to take up for supporters of gay rights. That is all.

                  Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

                  by Southernlib on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:54:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree with you completely (3+ / 0-)

                    I do think "age of consent" laws are a good thing, and 15 sounds like a pretty good place to draw that line. As for all the "bright line" argument, they're nice in theory, but the reality is that every law draws a bright line. There is simply no workable alternative to that.

                    And I agree that, while the parents in this particular case are anti-gay bigots, this is simply not an LGBT matter (and the diary is misleading to claim that it is). This is a simple matter of underage sex. We can all argue for hours whether 15 is an appropriate line, or how fuzzy or discretionary that line should be, and whether or how much the age of the partner is in the matter---but NONE of that depends, or should depend, on whether the people involved are male, female, or both. (Which indeed the DKos community itself is demonstrating clearly, since virtually all of the comments here revolve around the relationship between the two AGES, not their sexual orientation, which is essentially irrelevant.)

                    Florida law says it's illegal to have sex with a 15 year old.  That really is the bottom line.  One can (and perhaps even SHOULD) argue that the punishment should be appropriate to the circumstances and that the circumstances here call for a little slack--but one can NOT argue that what happened was not illegal.  It was, with certainty.

                  •  You are clearly missing my point. (0+ / 0-)

                    This is why I hope in the future one of your children makes the same mistake the 18 year old did, and has their life ruined as hers will be.  Well, no, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. I do, however, want you to think about that for a minute. You are very quick to put yourself in the place of the 14 year old's parents, try the other shoe.

                    We are actually pretty much in agreement that 18 year olds and 14 year olds should not be dating. As I said, there should be barriers to such relationships. Where we disagree is how draconian the consequences should be. That is why your comment disgusts me. I do not support criminalizing consensual love. This girl is made a felon because she got to third base with a willing partner. Her college plans are at least changed, if not canceled. Her future employment options will be limited, and she will be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. Do you really think that is just and reasonable?

                    As for this being an LGBT issue, do you really think that if their daughter had been dating the son of their church's pastor, they'd have gone to the police as their first option? Hell no! They'd have either encouraged the relationship, or gone to his parents and put an end to it without involving the police. The girl's parents simply can't accept that their daughter is not the strict heterosexual they wanted.

                    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

                    by rhonan on Wed May 22, 2013 at 01:14:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Every issue has a grey area, Southern (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ranger995

                Was it the intent of the law to prosecute two people who go to the same high school for having a relationship? Is someone who is 18 really an authority figure? I mean, I think the articles I've read suggest that the defendant just turned 18! So, all of us sudden, overnight she becomes an authority figure?

                I think someone at the Superior Court in Florida needs to have some common sense here. The laws intent was to prosecute statutory rape - criminal misconduct; to stop sexual predators.

                Is your argument that this girl is a sexual predator that deserves to be placed on the RSO list? To do so would pretty much end this girls future.

                •  I'm not saying the statutory law is perfect (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Be Skeptical

                  I personally do not think the age of consent should be lowered any further, and respect if people think that makes me the stuffy one here. But I certainly think the punishments being talked about here are harsh. A threat of 15 years in prison seems excessive, and I do not personally think someone in this situation belongs on a sex offender list.

                  But the thing is, that's the law. If we want to change the law, we should have that conversation. This is not an LGBT issue at all in me eyes. Anyone who has looked into the sex offender lists in Florida realizes that the majority of people on that list are men in a similarly situation to this, men who when they were a little older than 18 had consenting sex with someone a few years shy of 18. That's not who you picture when you hear the term "registered sex offender" but that is who you predominantly find on that list. I don't think those men deserve to be listed as RSO anymore than this girl does.

                  Yet, none of that changes the fact this girl was having sex with someone much younger than she was. While I haven't definitely seen their school progress defined, the ages here suggest a senior was sleeping with a freshman. Does that happen a lot? Yes, and a significant percentage of the time, if not an overwhelming percentage of the time, those relationships involve an older person pressuring a young and vulnerable partner into something that they may not be emotionally ready for.

                  So yes, there are grey areas, but if we are going to do Call to Action petitions and turn something into a national cause, why argue from a grey area? How many LGBT kids are being genuinely persecuted in Florida schools for who they are but who we never hear about on forums like this?

                  IMHO, championing this girl opens defenders of gay rights up to criticism. As a LGBT supporter, I want equal rights for people. Throughout history, opponents of civil and human rights have suggested "special" rights are being sought out instead. If we demand this girl be treated differently because she is gay, we play into the hands of bigots.

                  Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

                  by Southernlib on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:13:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Couple things (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't think this is an LGBT issue either. Though I suppose you could make an argument that the cause of this whole legal situation is because of the parental attitudes on homosexuality. Though, I suppose that's an assumption. But its a pretty fair one.

                    My thought was on the application of the law in this regard. The DA has discretion in this matter. As they have already played their hand, I suppose its now up to defendants attorney and the judge. It could be that the parents are pushing hard for action.

                    But I wouldn't characterize the age difference of these two girls as "much younger" as you describe. They are less than a three full years apart. That is not "much younger". If it were 5+, then I would say yes. Also, the context of their relationship, in high school, is also important. As you say, this goes on all the time. So what's different? And yes, these situations, particularly those outside of the context of high school - often involve a much older person who is having inappropriate contact with a young person - male or female. Those are legit RSOs, but not in this regard.

                    The only other thing I would say is that simply saying, "its the law", should never be an excuse for accepting an unfair application of it. The DA has discretion, should have done a meet and confer with the young girls parents and said, "this is the law, but do we really want to go down this road? Do you want to ruin one girls life and maybe your own daughters by going all the way with this?" Secondly, if I were the 18 year old girls attorney, I wouldn't accept anything more than a restraining order on my client and possible some social work/therapeutic assistance.

                    But really - a high school relationship. If everyone had left well enough alone, the relationship probably would have been over when the older girl graduated, went off to college and forgot about her high school sweetheart. I mean we are talking about high schoolers now aren't we?

                    Anyway, good post Southern.

              •  So it's fine (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gramofsam1

                if a 17 year old having a relationship with a 15 year old (basically a high school senior with a sophomore) is fine, but the minute that person turns 18, forget it? You'll have a lot of kids dumped at the Spring Prom if that's the case.

                A 15 and an 18 year old isn't the same as a 15 and a 23 year old; there are far more logical reasons for a 15 and 18 year old to meet and form a relationship than a 15 and 23 year old. And if both are high school students (if you ended up missing one or more years of school due to serious illness, or have to repeat a grade, you're 18 or 19 by the time you hit senior year so you can kiss any dating goodbye) I see no "authority role" -- we're not talking teacher/pupil fantasy here.

                There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:41:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                  It IS absurd. That doesn't mean it's not the law.

                  Take it easy, but take it.

                  by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:10:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  As I said in another string... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Andrew Lazarus

                  A 15-year-old girl in Florida is not old enough to vote, to drink, to drive without an adult in the car or to rent a tool at Home Depot. They can't get into a strip club. They can't go to an R-rated movie. (And yes, I know some of that is law and some of it is just rules of establishments, but you get my point).

                  In an 18-year-old in a position of authority? Absolutely. In this relationship, it is the 18-year-old calling the shots on where they go and how they get there. It is the 18-year-old at the wheel of the car when they go out together. If they go to a hotel, it's the 18-year-old checking in at the desk. Heck, it's probably the 18-year-old buying tickets at the movie if they just want to see a movie.

                  I have tried to stay away from the specifics of this case, but if we want to look at them, the 18-year-old is by all accounts a popular girl on campus in leadership roles at the school. She was one of the older girls on the basketball team, obviously. The 15-year-old, on the other hand, is a girl who can't get around on her own, is relatively new to the school and new to the team, and is now in a position of being at the mercy of her own parents, who forcefully put an end to this relationship by getting the cops involved. Who sounds like they are in a greater position of authority in this relationship? Yes, the 18-year-old is a still a child in many ways in her life, if not in the eyes of the law, but she is the one literally in the driver's seat.

                  Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

                  by Southernlib on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:34:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And I haven't seen anyone else note this, but... (0+ / 0-)

                  While everybody is quick to note this relationship started when the defendant was 17, that doesn't change the age difference with the other girl. How old was the younger girl when this started? I haven't seen anything to know, but the piece the defendant's father has put online says the girls are presently 18 and 15. Did this relationship start when the other girl was 14? Is so, I don't think the defendant's age is a mitigating factor whatsoever.

                  Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

                  by Southernlib on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:36:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Playing basketball on the same team (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gramofsam1, amini1

                is different than meeting someone "while playing high school basketball."  They were teammates and as a former high school basketball player who was lesbian that is one way, frankly, that gay girls can hang with one another and "date" without drawing too much attention.  

                One kid was 15, one 17....do you really expect to kids in classes together, on the same team who were BOTH gay, to draw a line in the sand...particularly when the rest of the school and outside world was not so  hospitable to them?  

                •  What I'm saying... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Andrew Lazarus

                  is that someone had sex with a child who had not reached the age on consent. It's that simple.

                  Something I think gets glossed over in this is that it was a choice to have sex. Maybe I brand myself as some type of repressed creature lost in time, but it's a choice to have sex. If these girls were in a nonsexual relationship, or even if they had just waited to have sex after the girl turned 16 (a matter of months), then the parents of the 15-year-old girl would have had no standing to call the cops and there would be no crime to prosecute.

                  Bottom line, the defendant in this case made a choice to have sex, and to have sex with someone who was not old enough under Florida law to legally give consent.

                  Please check out my blog Rantings From Florida. Someone has to do it.

                  by Southernlib on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:19:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  NO - this prosecution is outrageous. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aitchdee

                Agreed that this case isn't particularly about gay rights per se. But it's outrageous & unjust nonetheless. My understanding has always been that the purpose of statutory rape laws are to protect teenagers from sexual predators, not to criminalize teenage sexuality. And in practice, these laws are quite selectively applied - to LGBT relationships & to interracial relationships in particular.

                Are you really advocating that the older partner in such relationships should be sent to prison? Required to register as a "sex offender" for life? Are you really advocating that Kaitlyn Hunt be fed to the criminal justice leviathan?

                There is a lot of paranoia about sex in our society, teen sex in particular. (Just witness the zeal with which prosecutors go after cell-phone "sexting" among teenagers under child-pornography laws. Or, for that matter, the Obama administration's foot-dragging on making emergency contraception available to teenagers without prescription.) In the end, laws like these do little to protect teenagers but are a powerful weapon in the hands of the cultural warriors.

                •  we live in a very sexually repressed culture. (0+ / 0-)

                  Is it any wonder that even many liberals suffer as well?

                  Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

                  by rhonan on Wed May 22, 2013 at 01:34:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was just floored when reading this thread (0+ / 0-)

                    Floored that so many commenters on this site - of all places - advocate throwing the book at Kaitlyn Hunt. Floored that so many people see her as deserving of a felony conviction & possibly 15 years in prison. Deserving of having her life effectively ruined & being forced to wear the modern-day equivalent of the scarlet letter - sex-offender registry - for the rest of her life. But it isn't really surprising - that's the country we live in.

                    For all the media attention this case has generated, criminal cases like this are fairly common in the U.S. If the relationship is same-sex or interracial, or really any time the parents of the younger partner disapprove, then the older partner can expect to be singled out for prosecution. It happened to NBA star Jermaine O'Neal, who was arrested at age 16 & charged with statutory rape after being caught in bed with a 15-year-old girl by the girl's father. For a time he was facing a 20-year prison sentence, but the Columbia, S.C., prosecutor dropped the charges after a public outcry. Kaitlyn Hunt isn't going to be so lucky - prosecutors clearly intend to make an example out of her. Her case has eerie parallels to the case of Genarlow Wilson in Georgia, a 17-year-old student who was convicted in 2007 of "aggravated child molestation" for receiving oral sex from his 15-year-old girlfriend & sentenced to 10 years in prison.

                    But on the subject of culture & sexual repression, it's important to view this case, & others like it, in the context of America's never-ending culture wars. The Christian conservative movement is quite powerful here. They're serious about outlawing abortion. Serious about repressing homosexuality. And serious about restoring teenage chastity. That latter objective might seem uphill or even quixotic in these times, given our sex-saturated culture & all that's available from Hollywood or on the internet. But laws like these & prosecutions like these are a powerful weapon in the culture warriors' arsenal. The goal is to shroud sex, especially gay sex, in fear & stigma, & to reinforce the message to teenagers that engaging in premarital or homosexual sex will have dire, lifelong consequences. It's the same mentality that has brought us "abstinence only" sex education, the same mentality that holds that emergency contraception should not be made available to teenage girls. THIS is why I feel so impelled to rebuke the commenters on this board who want Kaitlyn Hunt locked up. But also I wanted to give thanks to DailyKos & all others who have taken up her cause.

        •  Doesn't apply. (3+ / 0-)

          It's only applicable in certain circumstances if the accused is under 24 and the victim is 16 or over. They didn't fall into that window, unfortunately. 15 is a no-go; FL law states that anyone under 16 is incapable of rendering consent in any situation.

          Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

          by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:31:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Was the younger girl 15 when... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Marti, 4CasandChlo

            the relationship started or when the couple hit "third base"???

            It looks like there is going to be a lot of hair splitting in this case.

            It's just that there's that teenagers in love thing going on.

            I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+4 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder! NR since 3/7/12.

            by Josiah Bartlett on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:52:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  We should reconsider... (17+ / 0-)

        ...supporting this with a petition.

        Unless we have deep personal knowledge of the situation, the correct side to be on is the side of the 15-year-old girl.

        Asking for no prosecution is basically telling parents that they must permit their 15-year-old daughters to have sex with adults. I think that such a stand is a serious distraction from the fight for LGBT equality.

        This is not an LGBT issue.

        It isn't a tolerance or equality issue (despite the fact that the parents are bigots).

        This is a child safety issue.

        We don't have a dog in this fight, and if we do, I think we're backing the wrong one.

        •  Being on the side of the 15 year old (9+ / 0-)

          is not the same as being on the side of her parents.

          LBGT kids are prisoners of their parents.

          •  Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

            I'm so sick of all the pearl-clutchers around here.

            We're talking about a high school senior and sophomore here. By any logical assessment they are peers.

            IIRC, mental health and child development professionals recommend a three-year window for allowable teenage sexual and/or romantic contact and a two-year window for pre-teens.

            For example, as a HS sophomore, I took a senior girl to the prom. The only other sophomore at the prom was a girl who went with her senior boyfriend. This is not that unheard of.  

            Signing this petition is NOT supporting child abuse or whatever bullshit is being peddled. This smacks of selective prosecution and manipulation of the system by the younger girl's parents.  Prosecutors absolutely have an obligation to ensure that the system isn't being used to carry out a personal vendetta, for which there is ample evidence.

            Unfortunately, the greatest harm to the 15-year-old come from her parents and their enablers.

            (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

            by homogenius on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:39:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with that is that the parents waited (4+ / 0-)

          until the accused was 18 to file charges.

          Why wait?

          We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

          by Samer on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:39:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I question this statement: (5+ / 0-)
          Asking for no prosecution is basically telling parents that they must permit their 15-year-old daughters to have sex with adults.
          By no means.  Parents have legal authority over their own children's behavior, and have the right to exercise that authority without calling for the law to enforce it.
          •  Absolutely! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1

            The parents of the 15 year old can exercise their rights and forbid their daughter from seeing the 18 year old.  The parents can still exercise authority without going to the cops.

            And Homogenius' comments on these two girls as peers is spot on. 18 year old as authority figure? Hardly.

            •  And it occurs to me, now that you mention it (0+ / 0-)

              that this is one possible measurable difference between this case and the hypothetical otherwise-identical case where the 18-year-old is male:  a 15-year-old (of either gender) may be likelier to perceive an older boyfriend than an older girlfriend as an "authority figure".

              I don't think any law or policy should necessarily be based on that perception, though.

        •  And 16 people rec'd this? (0+ / 0-)

          This is not an instance of an adult preying on a child.  This is an instance of two high school students engaging in a consensual relationship.

          Sorry, but that isn't a "child safety issue".   While it is possible that additional information might eventually come out, from what we have right now, this very much looks like a case of parental bigotry combined with selective enforcement in a way that discriminates against these two women because it was a same sex relationship.  That does look like an LGBT issue to me.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Mon May 20, 2013 at 08:46:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe so. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew Lazarus, Be Skeptical

            Maybe it's as innocent and sweet as you think.

            But unless you know the people involved, and their families, and their personal business, what real information do you have?

            Think of how dumb we'll look if we hype up this petition...and then it comes out that the older girl was abusive...or naughty pictures show up on Facebook...or we find out there's money involved...

            This petition is an excellent opportunity to look stupid, and one we should pass on.

            The only thing we know is that an adult is dating an child, and it is against the parent's rules. Everything else we see is just our own wishes and prejudices reflected back at us.

            Sometimes wishes and prejudices turn out to be correct. And sometimes they don't...

  •  How old was the other girl? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Let's hope someone on the jury (9+ / 0-)

    decides that this is absurd and refuses to convict. I have to wonder who is going to provide the evidence that sexual contact took place, unless one of the parents witnessed it.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:02:10 AM PDT

    •  An adult Fucking a 15 y.o.? (0+ / 0-)

      Put me on that jury ... This is a righteous prosecution.

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Define "fucking" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        where two girls are involved.

        •  So lesbian sex is a myth? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Clem Yeobright, TooFolkGR, Sparhawk

          Here's one for you then.  Marriage, by almost universal definition, must be consumated and can be annulled if it isn't.  If two women can't "fuck", then they can't consumate a marriage, hence lesbian marriage is impossible.  Is that your take on it?

          As a man I would say I "fucked" a woman if I put my finger, tongue or penis inside her vagina.  And my wife would agree.  If I fingered another woman, think I can get out of it by saying, "But honey, we didn't fuck, it was just my finger"?

          "fucking" where two girls are involved is vaginal penetration by any means.  I would also include "scissoring" or whatever else it's called.

          •  I'm pretty sure Florida law (0+ / 0-)

            has a clear definition as well.

            I don't think it's any of our businesses what these two young women were doing.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:59:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting that you feel your rights are involved (0+ / 0-)

            apparently this is all about what you can "get out of", and has nothing to do with what the girl's felt for each other.

            If the 15 year old was coerced, then this was wrong. But only she knows that -- not her parents, not the police, and certainly not dirty old male lawyers.

            If this was consensual between the girls, it's no one's business but theirs.

            I know your "Justice" say otherwise -- but it's a patriarchal justice made of, by, and for heterosexist and sexist dirty old men.

            •  Do you reject the concept of age of consent? (3+ / 0-)

              You aske the question whether the 15 year old was coerced or not.  By definition (by dirty old lawyers) anyone younger than the age of consent cannot give concent and is always coerced.  Do you agree or not?

              If you reject that, is it on principal, or just the age limit?  If a 12 year old girl for example had consensual sex with an 18 year old, is that okay?  Where is your line for when a girl is too young to understand the consequences?

              The other problem with the coerced/consent line is that it is very subjective and can change based on the relationship.  A person may consent to sex at first, and then decide that they really were coerced.  Does that make the first sex act a crime or not?

              My rights are not involved, I'm long past having to worry about this.  I'm only interested in equal treatment under the law, flawed or not.

              •  Age of consent for what? (0+ / 0-)

                Cuddling? How do you know there was any "sex" according to whatever patriarchal definition the men in FL state legislature use?

                And do you condone how the police obtained whatever "information" they supposedly have about the girls' relationship?

                The only thing I care about is coercion: your finger in my vagina is coercion if I don't want it there. Your "rights" end at my body.

                •  That will be for the jury to decide I guess (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Be Skeptical

                  I don't have the details of the case, but I understand that a public facebook post is the main source of police information.  I saw something about a phone conversation but can't find it now.
                  If the police wire tapped or did anything covert, no I do not condone the police state.  I have no issue with the case being thrown out due to lack of evidence if it was illegally obtained.

                  But I do have an issue with your view of rights in this case.

                  Your "rights" end at my body.
                  Technically (again, yes, lawyers) a person below the age of consent cannot give consent.  That person does not have the right to let anyone touch her body.  Not yet, she isn't done growing up.
                  And the person who is 18 certainly has no right to touch a minor child.  The rights of the 18 year old end at the body of the 15 year old.  That's how the law is written.  You can work to change it if you like, but you can't just ignore it.

                  By law all 15 year olds who engage in sex with an adult are coerced.

                  •  Yes, and by law my parents (0+ / 0-)

                    could have me electroshocked into gender conformity when I was a child.

                    That's why public outrage at cases like this matter: the society's ethical growth may outpace that of legal institutions, when then need to be changed.

                    As I said to someone else: girls have been cuddling for thousands of years. Get over it; you aren't going to prohibit it. You are only going to ruin lives out of a patriarchal desire to control women's sexuality for male benefit.

                    •  I can't get a read on your position (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Be Skeptical, mosesfreeman

                      Frankly, you're all over the map on this, and it seems to me that you're arguing for unequal treatment under the law based on gender.  It's a sex crime if male/female but not a crime if female/female.  You're trying to control sexuality by constantly redefining it.  And I don't even see you being consistent about it.

                      What I see in these responses is a lot of guys who are terribly jealous that a girl might possibly be allowed to get away with something that they could not get away with.
                      Get away with what?  Cuddling?  It's not a crime for an 18 year old male to cuddle with a 15 year old either.  If you're arguing that there simply was no sex, then there are no societal institutions to change.  No sex, no crime committed, no issue.

                      But in your other comments it is sex and the 15 year old is a lesbian who's oppressed by her parents.  So I have to ask, is it sex or isn't it?  Because two girls cuddling aren't lesbians who are being oppressed.  They're two straight girls hanging out while they wait for the right man to show up.  Is it only sex if a penis is involved?  Is a lesbian who's only been with women still a virgin?

                      And now I see another post of yours, and I can't believe you are seriously arguing that sex laws between adults and minors exist only for hetero sex, and there only because of pregnancy.  You're arguing that lesbian sex either isn't really sex at all (odd position for an LGBT activist), or that there's no way to criminalize it because there's no consequences.  Curious, do you object to 18m/15f sex if the girl is on birth control?

                      Do you believe in any age limit at all for lesbian sex?  I've never met a gay man who seriously took NAMBLA positions, but you seem to be saying that an 18 year old woman and a 12 year old girl, hell a 10 year old girl can "cuddle" or do whatever they like, and "patriarchal" society just has to deal with it.

                      Your beliefs are incompatible with basic equality.  You can't criminalize male/female underage sex but give LGBT underage sex a pass, and/or not even define it as real sex.

              •  Also, this idea that "coercion" is fuzzy is sexist (0+ / 0-)

                "No" means "no" and all that. Your implication is that females are fuzzy-headed beings who don't know whether they have been coerced or not. More patriarchal BS in the form of "Justice".

              •  Here's where the law is an ass ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                As long as the older girl was 17, the law couldn't touch her. It was only when she turned 18 that her relationship with a 15-year-old became an issue.

                If the other girl had turned 16 BEFORE the first girl turned 18, again, the state could not have become legally involved.

                Where is the bright line? Does anyone really believe that a child suddenly becomes mature enough to make decisions about their sexuality on his/her 16th birthday, but not one minute before? Age of consent laws are different from state to state ... are children in states where the age of consent is 14 more mature than those where it's 16 or 18?

                I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

                by ObamOcala on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:15:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As others have said, there has to be a line (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Be Skeptical

                  Like it or not, we confer rights and privalegs with age.  16, 18, 21.  The day before that person does not have the right, the day after they do.  I do agree that age of consent should be standardized across the states.

                  If we don't want the line to be 16 and instead say 15 is fine, well then what about 14?  13?  11?  There is a crass expression "If there's grass on the field, play ball", meaning any girl who's hit puberty is fair game.  Some 9 year olds can get pregnant.  Does that mean they can give concent?

                  I don't particularly like these laws.  Like I said, it's the end result of the sex offender route we've taken as a nation.  But it's the law until it's changed.

                  Right now, 18 is the age when we give a person more rights and responsibilites.  One of those responsibilities is no sex with 15 year old minors.

                  P.S., no state has 14 as age of consent with an adult.

                •  not true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright, happymisanthropy
                  As long as the older girl was 17, the law couldn't touch her. It was only when she turned 18 that her relationship with a 15-year-old became an issue.
                  My understanding of Florida law is that it is illegal for ANYBODY to have sex with someone under the age of 16--even if they themselves are not adults.  If they had both been 15, they could BOTH have been charged.

                  When she turned 18, the PENALTIES became heavier.

                  Where is the bright line?
                  All laws have a bright line.  It's legal to drive 55mph--it's illegal to drive 56.  You can drink if you're 21, vote if you're 18, drive if you're 16--but not one minute before.

                  The alternative is to individually test everyone for everything so that "this person is mature enough to vote at 17, but that one isn't---but this one can drink beer at 19, but not that one over there". If you can find a way to make that into a workable system, have at it.  (shrug)

      •  Right, so even though it would have been (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4CasandChlo, FloridaSNMOM

        completely legal in a few months it's righteous right now.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:57:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, homogenius, FloridaSNMOM

          And, it was "legal" then - before the girl turned into an 18 year old woman. There was a narrow legal window and the parent's took it.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

          by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:17:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, it would have been illegal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RainyDay

            before she turned 18 as well. Even if they had been the same ages it would have been illegal. Statutory rape laws are mostly all like that.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:29:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, AoT, Be Skeptical

          ... that's the way age-triggered laws work.  One day before your birhtday?  You can't buy this, do that, go there, sign that because it is against the law.  Tomorrow?  Go for it.

          It applies to getting a driver's license, drinking, smoking, sex, signing a contract, and many other areas of our lives.  And that is the way it works, like it or not.  Do it now, get a record.  Do it later, no problem.

          Is it right?  Well, that depends. Is it the law? Yes.

          --------------
          In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
               BusinessInsider.com

          by Laughing Vergil on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:20:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand the legal issues (0+ / 0-)

            And it would be absurd to say that there isn't a legal basis for this case, there clearly is. The commenter was making a moral claim, not a legal one. I was refuting the idea that this was righteous not that it was a legal action.

            Underage drinking is illegal but going after a 21 year old for providing their 20 year old girl friend alcohol is hardly "righteous".

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:25:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What about their 15 yo girlfriend? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bailey2001

              Isn't that what we're looking at here?

              Perhaps you are ignorant of the enormous changes in brain development between 12 and 18 ...

              Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

              by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:34:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're talking about the changes between (0+ / 0-)

                15 and 16. and a difference of somewhere around 6 months most likely. Prosecuting an 18 year old for something that would be legal in a few months is not righteous. And threatening 15 years is the opposite.

                I'd bet going through all this will be far worse for the 15 year old than a relationship that was about to be legal.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:40:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  And you're a righteous willful ignoramus. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbroers, Old Man from Scene 24

        So you would pervert the law to enable this girl's homophobic parents and ruin the life of a young woman.

        You are clutching technicalities as fiercely as your proverbial pearls.  This "adult" you are so righteous about is still in high school.  But hey, who needs facts when you're giving yourself license to self-righteous (false) indignation.

        (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

        by homogenius on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:44:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only the judge or jury can pervert the law (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          And a high school student can't be an adult?

          I am an ardent supporter of marriage equality and all equality.

          It is you who suggest discriminatory application of the law based on orientation.

          Think about that.

          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:01:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And all those parents are doing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kbroers, gramofsam1, happymisanthropy

          is driving a wedge between themselves and their daughter, who's probably going to leave home (and Florida) the minute she gets out of high school and her parents won't be able to say a thing against it.

          They may think they're "saving" their daughter, when all they're doing is driving her further away.

          That's the ultimate tragedy.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:48:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ruies matter more than people (0+ / 0-)

          to those who make a living by rules.

          If I were given to remote DSM-based psychiatric diagnosis, I would reach for the OCD spectrum disorders. These are easily controlled with medication. As a society, we should probably provide Lexapro in the water coolers at all legal establishments, legislatures, state houses, congress etc.

          Now if they can invent a med that fixes hoarding disorder, we could put that in the coolers on Wall Street and in boardrooms across the country... and a New Birth of Freedom would bless this land.

    •  Evidence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo, lgmcp

      There's a police recording of a phone conversation between them.

      There have also been some careless public statements.

      The wiretap really alarms me.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:06:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If they are both 17 or 18 years old, I don't see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Hohenzollern

    how this is illegal.   They are old enough to consent.  If the parents don't like it, oh well!

  •  It is illegal in Florida (10+ / 0-)

    ...to have sex with anyone under 16 regardless of gender.  A 17 year old and a 15 year old having sex is breaking the law.

    Yes, the poor girl was overcharged.  But sex with any 15 year old is still a crime.  

    •  Actually, under the law, they are both... (7+ / 0-)

      ...guilty. Anyone fourteen or older who has sex with a minor (under 18) could be charged, too, even if that minor is older.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not in Florida (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti, homogenius, FloridaSNMOM

        If they are under 24 then the age of consent is 16, over 23 then the age of consent is 18. So I guess two 14 year olds could be charged.

        The real issue here for me is that the parents are getting the state involved to punish this young woman for her sexuality and for their daughter's sexuality.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:25:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I feel so badly (5+ / 0-)

          for the younger girl, having them for parents.

          "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

          by Joan McCarter on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:29:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what should the parents do? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christin

            You're cool with adults seducing children?

            Parents should just shrug and sigh - at least she won't be getting pregnant?

            I am bewildered by your response, Joan.

            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

            by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:45:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

              •  Developmentally, mentally, BIG difference, Adam. (0+ / 0-)

                There's a huge literature on this subject. And adults who get off on the innocence of children need to be controlled.

                Understandable, but still needs to be controlled.

                Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:58:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You sound completely hysterical. (7+ / 0-)

                  The number of teenage relationships with a 2 1/2 year age difference is enormous.  You are pathologizing an extremely common behavior, in what I consider a disturbing and prurient manner.   "Getting off on the innocence of children" my ass.  Possibly you missed out entirely on teenage sexuality, but believe me it can and does exist without predation.  

                  "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                  by lgmcp on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:34:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There's also lots of literature (6+ / 0-)

                  on the difference in levels of maturity between girls and boys of the same age. Which is why lots of teenage girls date boys 2 or 3 years older- I certainly did, and so did many of my friends.

                  I'm pretty surprised that so many people here find this problematic. I get that it can be legally problematic, but IMO that's because age of consent laws can be mis-applied to situations that are not in the least coercive or predatory.

                  •  That's funny. (0+ / 0-)

                    When I was in high school any guy who dated a girl two years younger was regarded by the rest of us as ... a  predator.  I have to guess you and your friends did not know how the boys talked about them.

                    Seriously: how does a high school senior even conduct a conversation with a freshman or sophomore? I know I couldn't have.

                    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                    by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:51:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All I can tell you is that (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lgmcp, FloridaSNMOM, Cali Scribe

                      having a conversation with a guy a couple of years older was way easier and more rewarding than having a conversation with a guy my age. Maybe those freshman girls were more mature and more interesting than you realized.
                      As for how things were perceived- a 2-3 year difference was the norm, not the exception. I remember a friend of mine being embarrassed that her date for a dance was in the same grade. This was in the 60's, but it still seemed to be the case when my kids were teenagers in the 80's.

                      •  Well, I was in the locker room AFTER the dance (0+ / 0-)

                        and the MENTAL maturity of the freshman girls somehow never came up. I was in California; I'm guessing you were in Kentucky or West Virginia?

                        Please hold on to your fond memories of the awe in which the older boys held you because of your phenomenal maturity ...

                        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                        by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:06:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  WTF? Lousy guess, I was in the (3+ / 0-)

                          Philadelphia Main Line suburbs. As for those older boys who were supposedly faking it, they were great relationships, and I've been married to one of them for 4 decades now.

                          •  Then you can ask about it. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm sure your husband will tell you that after the dance all the guys complimented him on his date's massive ... frontal lobes. I'm sure I heard that - or something like that - a thousand times!

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:39:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One more time- (0+ / 0-)

                            there was no particular reason for anyone to comment on our relationship because it was so freaking typical.

                            But congratulations on your locker room wisdom. I have three brothers, have had lots of male friends, so I'm well aware of the tendency to comment on female physical attractiveness. I doubt your locker room buddies limited their comments to younger girls- if they did you should maybe think about that.

                          •  Thought about it. (0+ / 0-)

                            And I am laughing so hard about the durability of your self-delusion that an 18 y.o. boy could be fascinated by the insight of a 15 y.o. piece of meat, to be utterly frank ...

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:02:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Think about it some more- (0+ / 0-)

                            you've certainly outed yourself as a man who thinks of a woman as a piece of meat, to be utterly frank.

                            Here's something you might find shocking- girls talked in the locker room too, and we talked about boys' physical attributes a whole lot more than we talked about their brains- because both boys and girls are sexual beings. If you think you were the only ones with hormones, you were pathetically misinformed. We knew why boys liked us, and we knew the original attraction was physical because it was the same for us.

                            But we also knew that the physical attraction would last about five minutes if we turned out to be airheads or boring or nasty. The guys we dated were nice guys- the fact that you and your buddies considered girls a "piece of meat" does not make that true of all teenage boys. If anyone's delusional here, it ain't me babe.

                          •  Good heavens. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gramofsam1

                            Besides being rude and crude, this formulation creates a certain inconsistency with your own argument.  

                            If senior boys dating freshmen and sophomore girls were considered in your day as  "predators", was that a GOOD thing since it's boss to get plenty of " meat"?   If females were strictly objects and a younger one had the requisite attributes, who the hell cared  how old she was?  

                            Or was it a BAD thing, because these former classmates of yours felt only a loser would prey on vulnerable, immature, younger PEOPLE?  In which case maybe the girls weren't simply a piece of ass, and a little equality of mind was sought ? Which, since girls definitely DO mature sooner, might sometimes be found in younger girls?

                            You are trying to have it both ways here.  Perhaps at this point you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, not for any particular position.  

                            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                            by lgmcp on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:46:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right, his arguments are bizarre and (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lgmcp

                            self-contradictory. It's kinda funny though, seems that his lesson is that we should have avoided older boys because they considered us pieces of meat, and dated younger boys- because they were somehow more enlightened and would appreciate our "insight"? Or maybe he doesn't believe teen girls have insight, which would be news to Anne Frank, among many others.

                            Or maybe he thinks girls are not sexual beings and should avoid dating altogether. since they are merely prey for the predators. Who knows, but none of it makes any sense.

                •  Hell, I was probably MORE developed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lgmcp, gramofsam1

                  than Mr. Scribe when he was 18 and I was 15...he was a high school senior but very shy and reserved, while I was quite knowledgeable. (I was certainly more sexually experienced than he was when we started dating 13 years later -- by his own admission.)

                  Certainly, there are issues of adults preying on children; my in-laws' housekeeper became a grandmother when her 13 year old daughter was impregnated by a 21 year old who's now cooling his heels in prison for that and other crimes. But to equate an 18 year old with a 21 year old is ridiculous -- what's smiled at one day is criminalized the next just because someone celebrates a birthday?

                  There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                  by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:00:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  what's the alternative to this: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jiffypop, Clem Yeobright
                    what's smiled at one day is criminalized the next just because someone celebrates a birthday?
                    That is the way it is with EVERY law.  One day you can't vote, then you have a birthday and you can.  One day you cannot drive, then you have a birthday and you can.  One day you cannot collect Social Security, then you have a birthday and you can. One day you can't drink beer, then you have a birthday and you can.

                    What's the alternative?  This person can vote at 17, but not that person?  That person can drink at 20, but not the person standing over there?  How the hell do you determine that? Do you give every individual in the country some sort of test to see what age they should drive, or vote, or drink?

                    The bright line works, and applies to everyone.  What better alternative would you propose to replace it? Do tell.

                    •  Well, in those cases (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gramofsam1

                      it's rights being granted by the change in age -- here you've got a freedom, of sorts, taken away.

                      Probably all goes under "the law is an ass" -- and the reason why we have judges who are supposed to take things into account but thanks to mandatory minimum sentences and such are forced to set aside their own good judgement. And if you're going to apply it to one, you've got to apply it to all -- let's go through all the Florida high schools and see how many star football and basketball players we can throw into jail because they're dating a freshman instead of a junior.

                      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                      by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:33:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't disagree with this: (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright
                        Probably all goes under "the law is an ass" -- and the reason why we have judges who are supposed to take things into account but thanks to mandatory minimum sentences and such are forced to set aside their own good judgement. And if you're going to apply it to one, you've got to apply it to all -- let's go through all the Florida high schools and see how many star football and basketball players we can throw into jail because they're dating a freshman instead of a junior.
                        but you do seem to have changed the subject.

                        PS--Florida law contains a Romeo and Juliet provision, in which the legal penalties are far less for 18-20 year olds who have sex with 17 or 16 year olds. So all the people here waving their arms about "high school relationships!!!" are unaware of the facts.

              •  By the letter of the law? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                If they are 18, then yes. (At least I believe that's true in this case.)

                Take it easy, but take it.

                by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:16:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You're A Lawyer (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                You tell us.

                Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

                by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:21:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  WE MUST CONTROL OR GIRLS!!!! (0+ / 0-)

              THEY HAVE NO AGENCY!!!!

              ANYONE THREE(2.5) YEARS OLDER IS CLEARLY OUT TO GET THEM.

              If they had waited like 6 months this would have been completely legal. I can only imagine what would happen if the younger teen had been a boy. I'm sure you would care just as much.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:48:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If the parents cared they wouldn't have waited (5+ / 0-)

              They didn't contact authorities, if I'm correctly informed, until they had a chance to get the older one prosecuted as an adult.

              Hypothetical caring parents might have intervened but that's not what happened here.

              Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

              by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:11:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Jeezus xrist on a crutch! (0+ / 0-)

                I guess they should have come to you for advice, eh?

                Yes, you should go to the authorities when no law has been broken because it would appear to some anonymous blogger that you are being cynical if you wait until the law is on your side to appeal to the law ...
                Seriously, you are giving away that advice FOR FREE???

                You should be charging big bucks for your erudition, I think.

                Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:30:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting parallel (3+ / 0-)

                to the case of a Kossack whose son was accused of selling drugs to an undercover cop...in that case as well the authorities waited till the young man could be prosecuted as an adult.

                If those parents had really been interested in their daughter's welfare they would have handled it outside the legal system...this seems to indicate another agenda, to put fear in LGBT students throughout the state.

                There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                by Cali Scribe on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:10:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nonetheless (0+ / 0-)

                  The potential agenda helps to establish the sliminess and evil (?) nature of the parents, but it's not really relevant to the legal aspects of the case.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:14:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Brava, Joan! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, The Marti

            You get it!

            (Spoken as a one-time LGBT kid who was a prisoner of heteronormative parents and authorities.)

        •  The law... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, The Marti, lgmcp

          ...specifically says age of consent among 16-23 year olds is legal, but 14- and 15-year-olds aren't covered.

          Totally agree with the "real issue."

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:51:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What If 18 Male HS Drop-out Working At Bojangle's (8+ / 0-)

      ....having sex with a 15 year old boy?  

      What would the outcome be there?  

      This girl is a sympathetic character, but that seems to be the main mitigating issue here.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:11:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  seriously (0+ / 0-)

      This is not being prosecuted under any sodomy law. This is being prosecuted under laws that are there to protect children.  The application of the law in this case might be targeting a homosexual relationship, but I wonder what we would be saying if an 18 year old boy seduced a 15 year old girl.  We might say it was consensual, but the for the most part, we don't think an 15 year old girl has the ability to consent.  I think some bigots are upset because "girl-girl is not real sex"

      Here is another thing.  In trials where 13, 14, 15, 16 year old girls are raped by 17 year old boys, the defense claims the sex was consensual.  I am not sure that is a good path.

      So much of the relaxation of laws that are meant to protect our kids is based on the fact that some good kid might accidentally be ensnared.  You know, I would rather have the occasional good kid who makes a bad decision be ensnared than have bad kids go free.

      And this is a bad decision.  It has nothing to do with the gender.  it has to do with the fact that parents, for better or worse, are responsible for q5 year of children as we have to let them set the rules.  Maybe this 15 year old girl was not supposed to date at all?  Many households to set that rule. Maybe the 18year old was told not to see the girl.  For whatever reason, even if it was bigoted, parents need our backing in setting reasonable rules.

      Kids do not have a right, when dependent on their parents, to go out and screw with whomever they want.  Parents have a right to set boundaries.  This is not case where a 17 year old was kicked out of her house because she was a lesbian.  This looks more like a case where a 15 year defied her parents, went out with a much older person, and the older person now has to pay the consequences.

      Again, we must support parents when they are being reasonable, even if we do not agree with them.  THis is reasonable, asking you child who is 14-15 not to have sex with someone who is 17-18.  It is reasonable to consider the 17-18 year old a predator.  We have no reason to think she is not.  We don't have the facts.  And, as I tell 18 year olds all the time, you free do overs are over.  Responsibility is now being thrust upon you, weather you want to or not.  Honestly, this stuff happens.  It is like the boy who secretly tapes sex, and then says he meant no harm.  That may be, but bad decisions sometimes has consequences.

      •  Why is it reasonable to consider (0+ / 0-)

        the 17-18 year old girl a predator? Were the 17-18 year old boys I dated when I was 15 predators? I certainly didn't think so, and neither did my friends who were pretty much all dating boys 2-3 years older.
        This was so common a practice that when my all-girls school had "mixers", the invitations that went out (from the nuns) went to boys two grades ahead of us. Sophomore boys did not get invited to sophomore mixers, Senior boys did. And that's how we wanted it.

        •  Mississippi (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1

          I haven't posted here in several years and I'm not sure if I've ever posted under this username (I used to have an account with my college email but those days are long past).  I just wanted to log in to say that I think that for once, Mississippi has a decently progressive rule on this.  Under 14, it is statutory rape unless the older person is within 24 months of the younger.  Between 14 and 16, the older person must be within 36 months.  16 is considered the age of consent where to prove rape you must prove violence / coercion.  Not claiming we are perfect, but it's much better than an absolute 17 / 18 divide.

          Also, if anyone thinks laws like this aren't applied against 18 year-old boys who have sex with technically underage girls who were absolutely sure of what they were doing, and that it doesn't ruin their lives, you are deluding yourselves (this is not meant as a response to anyone in particular).  People mature at different rates, there are occasions where a girl could even be at a bar or club with a fake ID and look 20, a drunk guy has sex with her, and then it turns out she is underage, and his life is over.  I'm a lawyer and I've seen it happen.  Statutory rape laws are dangerous because they don't provide juries with any other option than to find the accused guilty if the younger person is underage and they had sex.  Even if you performed due diligence, you are still guilty.

          •  there is a lot here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew Lazarus

            As a lawyer you can certainly see the importance of responding to a parents complant concerning an underage child, and if there is evidence of a law being broken, to pursue that complaint.  We can talk about if the law is right, or if the law will be applied equally, or if the jury will be fair, but as mentioned, boys get into trouble for this, so it is just not about this being two girls.  If is about an 18 year old girl have relations with a 15 year old girl.  We don't know anything about the case, so it stands to reason that it something for a jury to work out.  If the parents are just being overprotective, fine.  If this is ac case of a senior student cultivating a freshman of sophomore, then this could be a problem.  It happens all the time, and all too often causes damage to the younger person.

            The reason for the strict 18 year divide is because an 18 year old is an adult and a 15 year old, no matter how mature, is not.  More importantly, a 15 year old is generally under a parents care.  As mentioned, we have to help parent care for their kids.  One way is to make sure older kids don't take avantage of them.

            One thing interesting about this discussion is that the same language that is used to defend the boys of Ohio is used here. The rapist was an athlete, a good kid, promising future, why ruin the lives of the good kid.  In the case of Steubenville the girl was 16 and arguably knew exactly what she was doing.  She went to the parry for a reason, and presumable got what she wanted.  At least that is what the defense seemed to think.

            It is also true that people mature at different rates, and often the age is indeterminate.  Fortunately this is now defense, other a child in east texas would have been serially gang raped, and her rapist would have gone free.  Many claimed she looked older, so the men who raped her had no idea she was still a child.  Some evidence suggested she went and participated willing, so how could it be rape?  Fortunately the law says that children cannot consent.

            One thing that makes this conversations difficult are the implicit assumptions.  For instance, it is assumed here that a being drunk is an excuse for having sex with underaged strangers.  That the choice of getting drunk protects a person from the choice of being a rapist.  Does the choice of getting drunk protect you when you kill a family of four with your car?  Maybe they should not have been out on the road.

            My assumption is that there is no inherent right to safe sex with strangers.  It involves risks.  One can't just pick up someone at a bar, have sex, and then say you did not know.  That is not what adults do.  Children are not responsible for their actions.  If one is 16 one can rape and be out of prison by the time one is 21.  But at 18 that changes.  it may not be fair, but it is the law.  

            Teaching responsibility and safety to kids is hard.  I see freshmen trolling the internet for dates with older guys.  I see senior girls hitting on the freshmen girls.  We know that abuse does not just exist in heterosexual relationship, but is potentially in all relationships especially where there is a power imbalance.  In high school that imbalance is most powerfully felt between grade levels and between JV and V sports.  It is unfortunate when an 18 year has not been taught enough responsibility and respect so that they do not get into these issues.  I am sure in Mississippi, as in Texas, kids are taught to respect adults and violate reasonable requests at their own peril.  Evidently this girl thought she could get away with it.

  •  Petition signed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    Thanks for giving us as a community an opportunity to be heard.

    ______________
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

  •  One of two things is true (13+ / 0-)

    (A) You believe that relationships between all 15 and all 18 year olds are ok.
    Or
    (B) You believe that all 15/18 year old relationships are criminal and should be prosecuted.

    In neither case is asking the prosecutor to drop the charges a good solution, because even in (A) case you simply allow them to do this to someone else later. I guess it solves the immediate problem, though, but it's bad law.

    My point is: I think this prosecution is wrong too. But if you do as well, you'd better be also willing to demand that prosecution of the most undesirable "predatory" 18 year old sometime in the future also be dropped. The fact that this student is sympathetic and is an honor roll student is completely beside the point.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:06:28 AM PDT

    •  No, I'm fine with prosecutorial discretion (10+ / 0-)

      And employing these laws only when there's a suggestion of coercion, etc.

    •  Sophmore-Senior? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1

      I guess I come down on that being OK.  And "predatory 18 year old" sounds awful, but you could advance the case about "predatory 28 year olds" macking on 25 year olds and it also sounds awful (or closer to the point predatory 21 on 18.)  Predatory any year olds are bad news.

      "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

      by nightsweat on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:10:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the false choice (10+ / 0-)

      But there's no reason that we can't take into account the character of the people involved and the nature of the relationship.  Your mentality is the same one that underlies 'zero-tolerance' policies, moronic sentencing guidelines, inflexible 'three-strikes' laws and the like.  You know, the very sorts authoritarian overreach that progressives are fighting against.  Although sometimes abused, giving some discretion to judges, prosecutors and juries to take circumstances and motives into account is generally a good thing.

      "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

      by libdevil on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:13:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Justice must be blind (8+ / 0-)

        Sparhawk is right.  If 18 and 15 is illegal, it's illegal for all.  Character and "nature of the relationship" have nothing to do with it.

        How is it supposed to work?  That 18 and 15 is illegal, unless they're honor students and got all their homework done first?  Illegal unless they "love" eachother.  And by what standard?

        If an 18 year old has sex with a 15 year old once, and then they break up, and the 15 year old is sad about the breakup, is it sexual assault?  But not sexual assault if they keep dating and the 15 year old is happy?  Because they're sooooo in love?  Age of consent is the law.  If men will be labeled sex offenders, then women get the same treatment.

        The false choice is that we have to live with this crap system.  Time to end most of this sex offender nonsense.  Otherwise, everyone is equal under the law.

        •  BS. Justice peeks all the time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago

          as when Justice bugged the girls' phone conversation.

          Dirty old men wanting to know whether girls are cuddling in secret...

          Justice is a Father -- a heteronormative, sexist and authoritarian Father. A Patriarchal Father.

        •  It doesn't have to be stupid, though (4+ / 0-)

          the key problem is the law does not recognize the difference between a 15 year old and a 5 year old. The idea that we can have a single, bright line "age of consent" for everything is the problem.

          But I would agree that the "sex offender nonsense" needs to be reigned in. It needs to be limited to actual rapists and pedophiles, not teen lovers or drunk guys taking a leak in pubic place.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:58:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but here is the problem . . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Norm in Chicago
            The idea that we can have a single, bright line "age of consent" for everything is the problem.
            In EVERY law, there must be a bright line.  If the drinking age is 21, then it's 21---not 20 years 11 months 30 days 23 hours and 59 minutes.  If the age to drive is 16, then it's 16--not 15 years 11 months 30 days 23 hours and 59 minutes. If the age to vote is 18, then it's 18, not 17 years 11 months 30 days 23 hours and 59 minutes.

            Lines HAVE to be drawn, or the law itself is meaningless.  You can't tell people "you can get a drivers license at the age where you are mature enough to handle one". If that's the plan, then how the hell do you tell? Do you take the 15 year old's word for it that he or she is mature enough to drive, or vote, or drink, or whatever? Do you give individual tests to everybody for everything?

            The only thing we CAN do is draw a line, so everyone knows exactly where they stand in relation to it. That is simply reality.

            •  Maybe more than one line? (0+ / 0-)

              Are you allowed to leave a 17 year old home alone? Now, there are certainly potential problems with it, but it is not the same as leaving a 3 year old home without supervision. Child labor laws often allow exceptions for teens to work limited hours...a recognition that maybe a 15 year old is not the same as a 10 year old. The law can be more nuanced without being individually tailored.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:38:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  An almost certainly impossible fantasy (0+ / 0-)

          What if there were some kind of maturity test that we could use in place of the calendar to decide whether people could consent to sex, make contracts, and vote?

          Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

          by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:18:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Uh ... how about (C) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, The Marti, schnecke21

      which is the one where you believe that some relationships between 18-year-olds and younger teenagers are perfectly fine and others are not and should be stopped?

      Or perhaps did you mean to say: either (A) you believe that age alone should be the determining factor in whether or not a 15/18-year-old relationship is criminal and should be prosecuted, or (B) you do not?

      •  Re (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aspe4
        which is the one where you believe that some relationships between 18-year-olds and younger teenagers are perfectly fine and others are not and should be stopped?
        Then you're a foe of equal protection and a fan of arbitrary prosecution.

        People's rights aren't dependent on whether we like them or some court recognizes they are honor students or not.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:18:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How do you write (C) into law? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, MichiganGirl

        I'm of the opinion that it has to be either all 18/15 is legal, or all is illegal.

        If you are arguing for subjective judgements, some relationships are fine, some aren't, how do you define that as law?

        Is there some way for these 18/15 year olds to know ahead of time if their relationship is perfectly fine, and not criminal?  Can a relationship change from fine to criminal overnight?  If it changes to criminal, is that retroactive to the beginning of the relationship?

        It can't be (C).  We can't have judges and juries deciding on whims which highschool romances are crimes and which ones aren't.  That's no way to create policy.

    •  Well I would advocate asking the prosecutor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      drop the charges and a change in the law.  I don't think we should criminalize sex between classmates.  Seniors shouldn't be put in jail for dating sophomores.  

  •  When I was in highschool a similar thing happened (4+ / 0-)

    with a black & white couple at another highschool in my city. Just shows you conservatives always hate they just change their targets.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:06:41 AM PDT

  •  This isn't prosecution...it's persecution. (11+ / 0-)

    Had the other girl's parents acted immediately, I might, might be able to understand it.

    However, they waited until Kaitlyn was 18 and could be charged as an adult.

    They're not concerned for their daughter--they merely want to persecute a young woman for daring to love another.

    They are despicable; so is the State of Florida, if they allow this travesty to go to trial.

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:07:20 AM PDT

    •  That doesn't appear to be true (6+ / 0-)

      According to the Free Kate FB page, they didn't start to be intimate until after she turned 18.

    •  I Really Don't Think Anybody Here Has Any Business (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grubber, Christin

      Declaring that the couple pressing charges "aren't concerned for their daughter."

      That's ludicrous.

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:13:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that their "concern" (3+ / 0-)

        is based on bigotry.

        I'd bet if we looked at the actual prosecutions of statutory rape among people of similar age we'd see a lot of this sort of thing. Likely having to do with race in many cases.

        They want to punish this woman because of their daughters sexuality.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:28:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do we actually know this? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Sparhawk, Clem Yeobright

          Or is this an assumption not based on confirmed facts.  This IS as serious question.

          Do we know that these parents would not have done EXACTLY THE SAME THING if it was an 18-year old boy that was intimate with their "little girl"?  

          These sorts of prosecutions happen all across the country, every year, multiple times, usually in a heterosexual relationship.  The common factor is that one set of parents believes that the older party is somehow not good enough for their daughter.

          Wrong side of the tracks?  Yep.  Wrong race? (and it does happen that black parents do this to a white boyfriend). Sure. Pissed off the parents somehow?  OK.  Wrong gender? Why not?  Montague vs Capulet?  Of course.

          And the state prosecutes.  In the political zeal to protect children against molesters, many locales have laws that do not leave leeway to prosecutors if parents complain.  In others, not prosecuting is the equivalent of a political death sentence.  So, the prosecution occurs.

          Yes, it is nasty.  Yes, it may need fixing.  But it needs fixing with real rules, not just with handwaving.  Without real rules - picture prosecution patterns in the south in re: race relations.  Picture them in AZ in re: race relations, specifically Hispanic relations.  If there is a "right side" and "wrong side" of town, picture prosecutions across that divide.

          Three-year window?  Great.  No problem.  Absolute ages?  If we must - it is better than no regulations.  Rules exempting schoolmates from permanent sexual predator status?  Sounds good.  Prosecutorial discretion in an emotionally charged area?  The Quarterback walks - the "wrong type" pays dearly.  No thanks.

          --------------
          In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
               BusinessInsider.com

          by Laughing Vergil on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:54:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Would they have pressed charges if the daughter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon, Aspe4

        had been dating a guy under the same circumstances?

        If so, why did they wait until Kaitlyn turned 18 to prosecute?

        I don't doubt the couple loves their daughter; I question their motives for bringing charges.

        ymmv

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:33:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Someone Posted Upthread that Kaitlyn (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti

          posted on Facebook that her and her girlfriend didn't start having sex until Kaitlyn turned 18, if that's the case then no crime occurred until that point. No doubt the parents disfavored the relationship but no crime occurred until after the defendant became an adult.

          "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

          by Aspe4 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:00:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  According to the news story, the parents never (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aspe4, Batya the Toon

            approached Kaitlyn or her parents,
            but went directly to the police, who then recorded calls between the two girls.
             It just doesn't pass the smell test, current law nothwithstanding.

            We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

            by The Marti on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:33:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I would reckon that for this to stick (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon, lgmcp, Aspe4, Matt Z

    there would have to be proof of some kind that the couple had sex as defined under Florida law after the older one turned 18. Correct?

    "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do..... Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." Grant

    by shigeru on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:07:51 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure how bad this is. (11+ / 0-)

    It is very important that we demand same-sex relationships get the same respect and treatment as others do. We are moving in that direction. The forces of tolerance are winning.

    But the big question here is: Would an 18-year old male be prosecuted for a relationship with a 15-year old female?

    The laws in every state are different. Also, prosecutors have wide (too wide, imho) discretion in these cases. If the state attorney has a history of dropping cases involving older males, then I'm outraged.

    If not, then we just need to view this as one step on the long road to equality.

    If someone is 15 years old, they need to be protected, no matter what their gender or orientation is. We must not forget that.

    •  It's not exactly the same dangers (5+ / 0-)

      No risk of pregnancy, substantially less risk of STDs ... but I can understand why an equality principle would still argue for the same standards here.

    •  An 18 year old male (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan

      could be prosecuted. And certainly some times are. As for whether they would be in this specific case, I don't think we can know that counter-factual, but given the lengths the parents went to here to get her arrested I'd be surprised if that would happen if this were a senior guy and a freshmen girl. Certainly not the opposite.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:31:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if past cases (steubenville) were any indication (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, ManhattanMan

        if it was a male basketball player they prob would have driven their daughter to his house.

        The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

        by gbaked on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:34:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've known parents to go to great lengths (5+ / 0-)

        to get boys their daughters were dating that they didn't approve of arrested, so it is really hard to tell whether it would have mattered if it were a boy, or a girl. My bet would be is that if it were a boy these parents didn't approve of dating their minor child, they'd probably have done the same thing.

        Generally those boys (or adults as far as the legal system is concerned) were abusive, involved in drugs, engaged in illegal activity, or what have you... but the parents I knew tried everything they could to break up the relationship, and in the end the legal system was their option of last resort.

        Young love it may be... but if that "young love" means someone considered to be a legal adult is dating your minor child, and you didn't want them to date your child... Well, they're taking their futures into their own hands at that point is sort of my view on that.

        Disagree with the law or don't, but the law is the law, and if you decide to break it, you're going to have to deal with the consequences.

        It just is what it is.

        "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

        by MichiganGirl on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:47:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most people don't have to deal with the (0+ / 0-)

          consequences of this law. At least most people in the world I live in. And really, what we're talking about whether this is right or wrong, not whether it's legal. There's plenty of stupid things that are illegal and horrible things that are perfectly legal.

          Disagree with the law or don't, but the law is the law, and if you decide to break it, you're going to have to deal with the consequences.
          That hasn't been true in this country in my life, and probably longer. The law is and has been enforced very selectively. I mean, look what it took to get the police to even investigate the Steubenville rape cases. And here we have another star basketball player who is being prosecuted for what is, other than legally, a consensual relationship. If she was a guy and in the same position I pretty much guarantee she wouldn't have been prosecuted.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:14:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know a former star basketball player (0+ / 0-)

            that has to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.

            She was 18, the boy she was dating was 16, and his parents didn't want him dating her. They pressed charges.

            The weirdest part was they were in the same grade, both Senoirs!

            Her birthday was later in the year so she had to start Kindergarten a year late, and he was jumped a grade. Didn't matter when it went before the prosecutor though.

            The law was the law, and the parents were adamant about prosecuting.

            This was back in the mid-nineties, and I'm not certain if the laws have became more sympathetic or not, but I do know for certain that my friend still has to register, and it cost her a full ride athletic scholarship to a pretty decent college at the time, in addition to having to spend 30 days in jail, years on probation, etc...

            "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

            by MichiganGirl on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:30:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Well put and bravely stated. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, ManhattanMan

      Of course, we may have the same problem that we have had with racial issues -- the decision to prosecute may be affected by prejudice.  The decision to convict may be as well.

      That said, if I were the parent of a 15 year old girl, be she straight or lesbian, I would NOT want an 18 year old having sex with her.  I would NOT however wait until the other participant turned 18. I would put a stop to it immediately and would stop it in a way that does not ruin the life of the other participant.

      If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

      by Bensdad on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:42:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Those parents that went to the police (7+ / 0-)

    don't know they will be in for a lifetime of regret and bitterness if/when their daughter washes her hands of them.  

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:08:37 AM PDT

  •  Where Exactly are we Planting Our Flag Here? (6+ / 0-)

    I'm not comfortable saying it's my business that 15 year olds should be having sex with whoever they want.  Before you get to "age of consent" you're not old enough to consent, so a 17 year old having sex with a 15 year old is not consensual.

    I don't even think it's ludicrous that criminal charges are being pursued... though 15 years sounds kind of insane sentence-wise.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:08:57 AM PDT

    •  But 15 year olds can and do consent to sex (0+ / 0-)

      They did at my high school and they do so in high schools across America.  To act as if they cannot is no better than the people who want to stop access to plan b or condoms.  (This is not to say I oppose statutory rape laws - I just think we have to be realistic about the sexuality of teens).  

      •  With an adult? If you are okay with a 15 year old (4+ / 0-)

        having sex with an 18 year old adult...what about a 20 year old one?  25?

        This is a case of an adult having sex with a child.  It is not a case of two same sex and same age teens having sex, or a case of persecution for gender an/or sexual orientation....this is an adult who shouldn't have been making sexual advances to a child.  Period.  

          It is illegal for adults to have sex with children, regardless of gender.

        •  I think the law can make the sort of distinctions (0+ / 0-)

          you are talking about.  In my opinions, adults don't attend high school.  None of those students are adults, not in my understanding of what it means to be an adult.   They are in the same social circle.  We are talking about a 2.5 year difference.  There is a difference between an 18 and 20 year old and certainly a 25 year old.  You can make a law that makes exceptions for age differences less than 4 years.  The way the current law is written it ensnares people who are not criminals and are not predators.  

    •  Personally, much as I wished to at the time... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, Matt Z, The Marti

      I didn't get any at 15. But lots of boys and girls were to my certain knowledge, and no power in the 'verse will ever prevent that.

      These laws are about fear and loathing of sex, as much as they are about protecting children from adult predators. And some kinds of sex are feared and hated more than others, it seems, from this dreadful case in point.

      I am glad I was not born into your strange and terrible land.

      Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

      by Boreal Ecologist on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:47:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Double Standards, Please (8+ / 0-)

    The law is the law and you don't get to choose. If every single person who is protesting this would say the same thing if the the older person's gender was male then fine. If not, why not?

    "Look here," he was yelling. "Look here, the bunglers—"

    by The Lone Apple on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:09:29 AM PDT

  •  I have mixed feelings about this (10+ / 0-)

    My daughter is 15.  If she was 17 and started dating an 18 year-old guy and they had sex, even if it was consensual, I'd be tempted to press charges against the guy.  What he did would be, technically, statutory rape.  The fact that the 'guy' is really a 'girl'. shouldn't change much of anything.  If they are really in love, they should have waited until both were 18, and they'd have been off the hook.   At any point where one partner is over 18 and the other is under 18, then the law can get involved.  They are both learning that a bit too late.  

    The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

    by estamm on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:09:51 AM PDT

    •  This is Kind of What I Meant in My Comment (7+ / 0-)

      ...above.

      I don't think you have to be an evil parent to press charges against a non-minor who has sex with your minor child.

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:11:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But what if (0+ / 0-)

      your daughter was 17 and was dating a guy who was also 17, but his birthday came up before your daughter's?  IOW, he turned 18 while your daughter was still 17.  

      If it's not a crime for a girl who is 17 years and, say, 8 months old to have sex with a guy who is 17 years and, say, 10 months old... why is it all of a sudden a criminal matter if they continue to have sex two months later, when they're both two months older?

      I think the commencement of the relationship is relevant, as is the actual age difference.  I think both considerations adequately address the coercion issue at the heart of statutory rape laws.  When I was in that age range (16-19) I was dating (and sexually active with) partners who were often at least a year or two on either side of me.  I don't feel I was raped when she was older or raped any one when she was younger.

    •  In this case they would only have (6+ / 0-)

      had to wait until the younger girl was 16. Although I imagine that high schoolers aren't really going to go hit the law books before getting down to business. I know that there were a lot of relationships between older guys and younger women when I was in high school. Even though they were illegal.

      Teenagers are going to have sex and the difference of a couple years shouldn't be some horrible thing that necessitates jail time.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:35:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I chose to have sex at 15 (8+ / 0-)

      It wasn't a whim, let alone coercive.  We went to Planned Parenthood first and waited six weeks.  If my parents had been so VERY foolish as to have chosen to have my boyfriend arrested, it would have been an incredible blow that would have permanently damaged my relationship with them.  For what?  Doing what teenagers have always done and always will do?

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:35:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  every case is different (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not saying that I WOULD press charges. I'm saying I COULD press charges.  

        Oh, and if the guy turns 18 a few months before the girl does, then he damn well should wait until she turns 18 too.  'Cause if he doesn't, he risks becoming labelled a sex offender for the rest of his life.  That is the law, which is sometimes an ass, but it is the law nonetheless.

        The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

        by estamm on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What?! You would press charges? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, schnecke21

      Do you think most girls in this country wait until they are 18 to have sex?  If she has a bf a year ahead of her in school you would go to the police?  Would your daughter have anything to say about that?  How do you think this would affect your relationship with your daughter.

      BTW, a one year difference would not be illegal in many states and would be laughed at in others.

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act--Orwell

      by jhannon on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:45:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And you would be horribly wrong, IMHO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

      by Boreal Ecologist on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:49:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, schnecke21

      So basically you'd be good prosecuting the elder of two HS seniors in a relationship if s/he hits the magic age of 18 a few months before the other. That's ridiculous.

    •  Were you ever under 18? (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment is truly chilling. Anyone who is not perfectly mature at age 17 should be thrown on the tender mercies of the criminal justice system because they fall in love with the wrong girl? I'm not a parent, and I understand it must be hard, but it's really frightening to see how hard-hearted it makes some people.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:14:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on the state (0+ / 0-)

      If you really want to get confused sometime, read Wikipedia's age of consent article.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:28:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  lesbians I think can't easily break the law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Aquarius40, The Marti

    in the UK.   The law against gay sex was for men only - supposedly because nobody wanted to explain to Queen Victoria that women did such things.....

    So it isn't easy to find a law for lesbians to break.

    But if the prosecutor is willing, as here, who knows what can be done.  The US has too many Puritans in positions of power, imho.

    Our rape laws also allow for lesser punishments, if it was in fact consensual and the girl is 14+ and the guy is no more than 24(?) so those actually dating are semi - recognized.

    This poor girl is bound to suffer and I can only sympathise from afar.  More and better Democrats!!

  •  But - did the younger girl get an abortion? (0+ / 0-)
  •  This isn't about them being the same sex. (7+ / 0-)

    It's about an adult having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.  It's not uncommon for parents of underage girls to go after guys that take advantage of their daughter, and sometimes those guys do get convicted.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:13:04 AM PDT

    •  No, it is about ridiculous unfair statutory rape (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TacoPie

      laws.

      Was this relationship inappropriate before she turned 18?  Why should the very same relationship go from legal to illegal just because both people in the relationship get one day older?

      We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

      by RageKage on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:28:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Err.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon, sturunner

        While I agree with your sentiment. THIS case is definitely about them being lesbians.

        The title of the article is "falling in love with another girl" not "falling in love".

        Take it easy, but take it.

        by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:22:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I don't think we should care more about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          this case, simply because they are lesbians, than we should about every other case where an 18 year old ends up branded a criminal sex offender for being in a consensual relationship with a 15 year old.

          We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

          by RageKage on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:53:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree 100% (0+ / 0-)

            That said, THIS case is getting the attention it is because of the lesbian angle. (Though I appreciate the selective prosecution argument.)

            Take it easy, but take it.

            by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:04:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  under the law, there is no such thing as a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            "consensual relationship with a 15 year old", just as there is no "consensual relationship with a 12-year old" or a "consensual relationship with a 9-year old".

            Children under the age of 15, cannot legally consent.  Period.

            But you are entirely correct---none of this entire issue depends in any way upon the sexual orientation of the parties involved. And it is very misleading for the diary to claim that it does.

            •  I meant consensual in the actual rather than legal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew Lazarus

              sense.

              A 15 yr old can definitely consent to sex in the normal sense of the word.  Legal consent is another matter, and depends on the jurisdiction.  In Canada, for instance, a 15yr old can consent to sex with someone up to 5 years older.  

              So children under the age of 15 can legally consent in some places, and not others.   Definitely not in Florida.

              We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

              by RageKage on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:46:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  To be fair, this is what sex offender laws demand (13+ / 0-)

    If an 18 year old man has sex with a 15 year old girl in Florida, he will be labeled a sex offender.  Florida age of consent is 16.  That is the zero tollerance nonsense we have forced on all of America.  If a sex act is labeled a sex crime, that person must be labeled a sex offender for life to inform everyone of the massive danger he represents.  He is considered almost exactly the same as a violent rapist.

    Well if we're happy with that, what does gender have to do with it?  Shouldn't everyone be treated equally?

    If you want to attack the ridiculousness of a criminal charge in this case, then attack the criminal charge itself.  Attack the notion that an 18 year old having sex with a 15 year old is a criminal act.  Or accept that it is a criminal act in all cases.  But it can't be both ways.  It can't be a sex crime when it's a man and a woman but not a sex crime when it's two women.

    If we are going to accept that everyone who does something sexually we don't approve of is a sex offender for life, then we must accept that other people, including conservatives, have the right to deny their approval as well.

    Sex crimes have been turned into just another part of the prison industrial complex.  Time to attack the issue at the root.

  •  two things to keep in mind: (10+ / 0-)

    1. Although the anti-gay bigotry is palpable in the parents here, it is really beside the point. What happened was an 18-year old having sex with a 15-year old.  That is illegal in every state, whether they were a male/female pair, a male/male pair, or a female/female pair.

    2. Florida has a "Romeo and Juliet Law", which lowers the legal penalty for an 18-year old having sex with a 17 or 16 year old (a law that was specifically designed to prevent the sort of cases where high school seniors get arrested for statutory rape with their sophomore or freshman girlfriends/boyfriends who are only a year or two younger).  BUT those provisions do not protect anyone who has sex with a 15-year old.  Sex with 15 year olds is illegal, period---whether you or they are male or female, straight or gay, black or white, or whatever.

    What we seem to be arguing is that sex with an underage 15-year old is OK, or at least it's OK if they are "in love".

    It's not.

    Let's not defend sex with underage kids. Under any circumstances.

    •  Just before my 16th birthday (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Aspe4

      I had sex with an 18-year-old girl, if my memory about her age is correct.

      I assure you I was not raped.  I assure you my consent was real.

      And it was was quite "OK" for everyone involved.  As I remember it, it was awesome.

      •  There have been a few cases of female teachers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Sparhawk

        banging students.  And have been prosecuted for rape even though I'm sure the guys loved it.  If you are under the age of consent, it is rape regardless of who or why.  

        The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

        by estamm on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I'm describing (0+ / 0-)

          is nothing like that.  Teachers are in a position of authority. They are inherently influential and coercive by stature.  They are also a lot older than 18 -- they are not involved in the type of romantic dating and the exploratory nature of sexual relations that occurs between a freshman and a senior.

          So I disagree that "if you are under the age of consent, it is rape regardless of who or why."  Please.  I'm not sure you agree with that either, unless you don't recognize that there's a big difference between, say, a 43-year-old teacher having sex with one of his or her 14-year old students and two sexually active students having a romantic relationship, one of which just turned 18, and the other is about to.

          Tell you don't see the distinction or, if you do, you don't think it's worthy of being an important consideration in common sense, prosecutorial discretion?

          •  but that is precisely the point of "age of consent (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, cloud9ine, estamm
            They are inherently influential and coercive by stature.  
            Any adults (people over 18) are also inherently influential and coercive by stature over younger people. It is simply impossible for a 15 year old to be the equal, emotionally, physically, experientially or socially, of an 18 year old, and any such relationship is inherently dominant by the older person.  Three years is not a large difference if one is 55 and the other is 58--but it is a huge enormous yawning difference if one is 18 and the other is 15. The law recognizes that, and establishes that NO 15-year old is mature enough emotionally to make that decision.
            •  No, 18-year-olds are not inherently anything (0+ / 0-)

              The girl I had sex with was not inherently influential or coercive by stature when she had sex with me.  We were in a dating relationship.  We went to different high schools, but we had and hung out with mutual friends.  That's besides the point.  The point is nobody was raped, except as a matter of law.  We've lost touch, I don't know where she is at this point, but I can just about guarantee you she is not a sexual predator or a danger to society.  Never was, isn't so this day.  I could be wrong, but I'd take that to the bank.

              The law conclusively presumes that 18-year-olds are inherently influential and coercive by stature, but that ignores the fact that that's not objectively true.  It was not even slightly true in my case.

              I don't have a problem with the statutory rape law and I recognize the line has to be drawn somewhere when enacting statutory law.  Discretion, after all, is not legislated.  It is exercised.  It's exercise requires wisdom that goes beyond "the law is the law" and pretending that "where do you draw the line?" makes discretion impossible.

              •  You said it (0+ / 0-)

                "The point is nobody was raped except as a matter of law."  Exactly!   As I said at the beginning:  if you are under the age of consent, it is rape.  The people involved obviously don't see it that way much of the time.   Until they end up in jail as a sex offender.

                The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

                by estamm on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:02:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Almost missed this (0+ / 0-)
              It is simply impossible for a 15 year old to be the equal, emotionally, physically, experientially or socially, of an 18 year old, and any such relationship is inherently dominant by the older person.
              Actually, what's possible is for a 15 year old to be more emotionally, experientially (?) and socially matured than an 18 year old.
      •  I drank beer before I was 21 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bailey2001, Sparhawk

        It was awesome, I had a wonderful time, and I didn't feel like a victim in any way shape or form.

        But it was still illegal.

        But let's take your argument and run with it----how low do we therefore make the age of consent?  Is a 15 year old having sex with a 12 year old OK in your book?  How about a 12 year old with a 9 year old? I bet they both feel awesome too. I bet they both feel "in love". I bet they both feel "quite OK" with it.I bet their consent felt quite real.

        So where would YOU draw the line of consent?  Or should we just not have one at all?

        •  I had a sip of wine when I was under 21 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon, sturunner, schnecke21

          at my parent's dinner table.  I think it was Thanksgiving.  It think I may have had a sip of bubbly in my home too on New Years Eve.  If my mother was prosecuted for it, I would call it a gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion.  Yes, underage drinking is illegal - but prosecuting under "the law is the law" without consideration of circumstances is not respect for the law.  In the long run, such an approach undermines respect for the law.  People expect public servants to use a little common sense when applying the law.

          Two things are relevant in determining whether prosecution under a statutory rape statute is appropriate besides the ages of the parties.  

          Number 1:  The actual age difference.  There's a difference between parties who are 17 and 11 months old and 18 and 1 month old having sex and a 40-year-old having sex with either of them.  In fact, sex between a 40-year-old and a 18-and-1-month old is more offensive to me and evokes the same concerns of inappropriateness and coercion than the former, though the latter is completely legal.  Go figure.

          Number 2:  The commencement of the relationship.  If a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old start dating and continue to date (and later become sexually active) for 4 years, I don't think the relationship suddenly becomes inappropriate as soon as one of them turns 18.  In fact, by then, the relationship is even more appropriate (or less inappropriate) at that point, because the younger one is that much closer to the statutory age of consent.

          Where do you draw the line?  That's called prosecutorial discretion.  Where to cops draw the line on enforcing the speed limit?  20 over?  1 over?  9 over?  It depends on weather and traffic conditions, time of day, etc.  We expect officers to use their discretion wisely, lest they start busting everyone for 1 over ("the law is the law!  where do you draw the line?") and the community finds itself beginning to feel animosity, not respect, for the law.

          •  the ironic part of this conversation is (5+ / 0-)

            that NONE of it, not one single word of it, depends in any way upon whether the people in the relationship are male, female, or both.

            Which was precisely my point all along.

            We can argue all we want about what the age of consent should be or whatever---but that is simply not an LGBT issue.

            And the diary is immensely dishonest and misleading for declaring that it is one. (And since the very salient fact that one of the partners was underage was conveniently excluded from the diary, it certainly gives at least the appearance that such misleading deception was intentional.)

            •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cloud9ine, Clem Yeobright

              She's legally allowed to "fall in love" with a six-month year old cocker spaniel.  "Falling in love," got her in no trouble at all. She's being prosecuted because she had sex with someone who legally could not have sex with her.  From the law's perspective, a 15 year old child can no more give consent than a 22 year old college girl who has been roofied...

              Though I somewhat suspect the reaction to the case would be different here under those circumstances.

              Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

              by TooFolkGR on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:05:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

        But technically, by the letter of the law, you were raped. EOS

        Take it easy, but take it.

        by ltsply2 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:23:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would be angry enough at an 18 year old man (9+ / 0-)

    having sex with my daughter, that I would consider pressing charges, if he didn't leave her alone. So I think I would be hypocritical to say that I would find it okay in a same sex relationship.  However, it would be the age difference that would bother me, such as an adult having sex with my child, rather than the gender of the adult.  If my daughter wanted to have a same sex relationship, I would expect it to be with someone her own age and certainly not an adult.

  •  Pretty misleading headline... (14+ / 0-)

    ...and post. Not mentioning the fact that the younger GIRL is in fact, only 15 years old completely changes the tenor of this story.

    I don't believe this has anything to do with the genders of the parties involved, but rather their ages. One is now considered an adult. The other is most definitely considered a minor.

    As for the parents waiting, maybe they discouraged the relationship, but realized their hands were tied legally until the older girl became a legal adult.

    Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

    by liquidman on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:16:50 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I am disappointed with this whole diary. It's (10+ / 0-)

      misleading in the extreme.

      The issue here is having sex with an underage person.  Not having sex with another girl.

    •  Age of consent must be in this diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TooFolkGR, Bob B

      It's 16 in FL, and pretty relevent to this case.

    •  So it would have been okay if (0+ / 0-)

      they were both 15?

      •  no. under Florida law, NOBODY can have sex with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        anyone under the age of 16.

        If they had both been 15, they could BOTH have been charged.

        •  Oh.... (0+ / 0-)

          I was talking about morally, not legally,,,

          I find there is basically no difference between a 18 year old and a fifteen year old.  

          Consent laws have to do with adults with a considerable age difference exploiting minors...

          let's get real...high school kids have relationships with college kids...

          and in my son't middle school, girls as young as 13 had boyfriends in their twenties.

          The selective prosecution of a couple who are contemporaries because they are of the same sex seems to fly in the face of the realities of adolescent sexuality,  I know very few 18 year olds I would consider an actual adult.

          I am a little offended at the prudery being expressed here.  I am sure some you were happy to break anti Sodomy laws in the privacy of your own bedrooms, so don't give this "law is the law " stuff,

          15 year olds have sex. And there is nothing you can do to stop it.  Punitive prosecution of another teenager will not make this girl not gay.
           

          •  so you're against consent-age laws? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bailey2001

            18 year olds having sex with 15 year olds is fine with you? How about 14 year olds? 13? 12? 10? 8? Where do YOU draw the line? Or don't you think there SHOULD be a line?

            "Prudery"? I don't equate laws against sex with underage children as "prudery". I think it enormously silly that you do.

            I find this whole diary and commentary to be amazing. I never thought I'd see the day when "defending LGBT rights" became tied to "defending the right of people to have sex with underage children".

            Boggling.

            •  I never said that (0+ / 0-)

              I am against consent laws...

              I just said that high school girls go out with college guys. (and have since I was in my teens many, many decades ago)

              And that a fifteen year old is a contemporary of an eighteen year old.

              I would not call a fifteen year old a child, when sixteen is the age of consent.

              And to infantilize young women isn't protecting them,  it it is saying they basically don't belong to themselves, when the average age for loss of virginity is 17.

              Again, calling a 18 an adult and saying she is exploiting a child, when the affair began when both were underage is really ignoring the realities of teen sexuality.

              And I know very few teen girls who would thank you for calling them children.  It is really insulting to young women in generally who are usually much more mature than boys their own ages,.

              •  you seem unaware that Florida has a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bailey2001

                provision in law called the "Romeo and Juliet" provision.  It reduces the legal penalties for people age 18-24 who have sex with 16 or 17 year olds they are dating.  So your concerns are already addressed in the law, and are not at play in this case.

                This particular case revolves around the age of consent, which in Florida is 16.  It is illegal in Florida for ANYONE, of any age, to have sex with someone who is underage.

                I have no problem with that.  Do you?

                And if you think 16 is not a good age for consent, what do you recommend instead.  15? 14?  12? 10?

  •  Great obfuscating writing, Joan.. (11+ / 0-)

    Nowhere in your text did you mention that the younger child was 15. Whether the elder person was of the same or opposite sex, that is a crime. It is not someone who just turned 18 and a partner who is a few months younger.

    •  I must confess I am utterly puzzled why the (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TooFolkGR, Bailey2001, cloud9ine, Bob B, Vayle

      diary does not mention anywhere the VERY salient fact that one of the people involved was underage.

      I would VERY much not like to think that the DK FP has been reduced to selectively editing our stories to better present the political point we want to make.

      I would also VERY much not like to think that supporting LGBT rights and equality (something I have done enthusiastically for many decades now) means I have to defend the, uh, right of people to have sex with underage kids.

  •  15 will get you 20 (13+ / 0-)

    My LGBT sensor is sympathetic, but the age issue is leaving me flat.

    Please stop conflating gender issues with age issues.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever. - Thomas Jefferson

    by MightyMoose on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:20:54 AM PDT

  •  I won't be signing this petition (6+ / 0-)

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:22:55 AM PDT

  •  They can't just drop the charges. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    probably jay

    It's not up to the SA. They have a mandate. The parents are insisting they move forward. The law is very clear and the State can't arbitrarily drop this case because of an outcry of public opinion. It's not a GOOD case, and it's going to be next to impossible to try successfully, but please don't propagate the idea that law enforcement is to blame here, or can make any unilateral decision to drop this or not to pursue prosecution.

    The people you need to be petitioning are the parents. They have the ability to stop moving forward to a certain extent - they could indicate that they'll accept a plea to a lesser charge or refuse to cooperate altogether, and that makes it almost 100% certain that the case would stop moving forward.

    The State can't simply respond to public opinion in matters of very clear criminal law. This is the process. It sucks, but this is the way it is, and the FAMILY is the only party to this that can influence what happens next.

    You can talk about changing the statutory laws, but that's a different conversation. Fact is, regardless of how screwed up the circumstances, a FL criminal law was broken and there are rules for how that's dealt with.

    Dance like no one is watching with one fist in the air... We are stronger than everything they have taught us that we should fear.

    by Surly Cracker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:24:03 AM PDT

  •  I won't sign either, I just don't agree that an (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B, TooFolkGR, Matt Z, Aspe4, dhonig, Vayle

    adult should be having sex with a child...male or female.

  •  The age difference is prosecutable. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B, Batya the Toon

    Unfortunately, the fact that they are of the same sex may have factored into the prosecution. I'd like to think not, but we don't really know.

    She may need to take the deal as a jury would be obliged to convict on the facts as we know them unless one or more jurors declined to convict --- that is to say engaged in jury nullification.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:27:40 AM PDT

  •  Her only hope (0+ / 0-)

    is to win on appeal, once the case leaves the quasi-ex-Confederacy.

    Not much hope of winning on appeal, however.  Courts tend to defer to state judgment in "statutory rape" cases.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:29:40 AM PDT

  •  mercy would be appropriate in this case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew Lazarus

    she's barely an adult, so, they shouldn't throw the book at her

    but she did sleep with a 15 year old, so, they have to do something

  •  Diary recced in response to all the authoritarians (4+ / 0-)

    here who want the book thrown at Kaitlyn.

    LGBT kids are prisoners of parents and a society that is mostly trying to exterminate us.

    •  I don't get the responses here (4+ / 0-)

      Everyone is acting as though she's some college student preying on high school girls when she's a senior, knew the other girl and only just turned 18!

      •  Authoritarianism (0+ / 0-)

        is very popular with the lawyer set, and we have lots of lawyers on DKos. Most of them are male, and fathers, and want to control their daughters.

        •  your comments (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago, TooFolkGR, dhonig

          are bizarre.

          We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

          by Christin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:15:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Stop with the "LGBT girls are prisoners" crap (7+ / 0-)

          The girl is 15, she is a minor child, and like it or not she is dependent on her parents.  They feed and clothe her and for the next 3 years they get to decide most of her life.  She can decide her life for every year after that.  And if she hates them for it so be it.

          My first question for you on this subject is, why stop at 15?  What about 14, 12, 10?  Do all those girls get to decide everything for themselves, regardless of what the parents think is best?  What age to you does a person become a legal, self-suficient adult?

          Next, if you want to say that a 15 year old should be a legal adult, then you should work to change the law.  But remember, you won't then be able to complain about the consequences.

          If a 15 year old is an adult, and the parents are merely her jailers, then she should be set free and the parents have no more obligation.  That's right, they don't have to pay for her shelter, housing, schooling or health care.  It'd be quite odd to make an adult financially dependent on a criminal, right?  By your standard the parents of that 15 year old can throw her out on the street.

          Knock it off, because you're arguing for all the privaleges but none of the responsibilities and you can't have it both ways.

          P.S.  I'm the father of a soon to be boy, and when he's 15 I don't want him having sex either.  I don't want him getting a girl pregnant or chasing after silly teen romances when he should be learning how to be an adult and support himself.  Sex can wait, teens dont' need to chase blindly after every impulse.  And yes, it is the parent's job to teach that.  It doesn't make me my son's jailer.

          •  The struggle for childrens' rights (0+ / 0-)

            is still in the future. We have more or less established that women are not the property of men. We are still establishing that LGBT adults have rights and not free game for murder if they use a public restroom. The deaths of LGBT minors are deplored by some, but they are common, and in no way are we ready to look at the responsibility of parents and authority figures for those deaths.

            I don't consider myself a member of your het-cis culture; I was never invited to join. Forgive me if I can't identify with its oppressive patriarchal power structures and those who wield them. I spent the middle of my life working on the Internet hoping it would help destabilize those power structures.

            I'm sure I won't live to see the end of the oppression of LGBT youth -- but I'm thinking they really, really need good strong voice encryption apps on their phones.

          •  You are amazingly ignorant of the lives of LGBT (0+ / 0-)

            people. And your ignorance is lethal, because it is coupled to  authoritarianism.

            I wonder what would happen if you eventually found out that your boy is actually a girl in her own mind? Would you torture her into gender conformity? Would you seek to have her electroshocked by quacks? Probably not the latter these days, because the shrinks suffered too many malpractice suits for that sort of thing. But it was a common practice in my childhood.

            LBGT kids are the prisoners of their parents. When we die by suicide, our parents are usually the actual murderers, but of course are never punished for it. Lawyers who enable such murders of LGBT kids are themselves moral criminals.

            •  None of that affects age of consent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vayle

              If my boy is LGBT, then that's the way he is and I'm fine with that.  I'm not your parents.  No, I will not torture him into conformity.

              But whatever sexuality my son becomes, there will be one age of consent law.  It is not forcing gender conformity to have one age law for gay and straight.  There is nothing special about LGBT that demands underage sex.  Everyone can simply wait a while, grow up a bit, then have sex.

              Why can't you understand that?

              •  Testosterone derangement syndrome (0+ / 0-)

                Joan wrote about love, but all some male readers can think about is sex. Perhaps it's true that men can't love, and only have appetites...

                •  The hatred oozes out of you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Andrew Lazarus, Vayle

                  Maybe we should discuss your psychological issues, you have problems.  The discussion time and time again has been about equal application of the law.  And all you will go back to is that female-female sex is good and loving, and all male-female sex is rape.

                  I've read through all your comments on this diary, and you call hetero sex rape multiple times.  You clearly have a hetero hatred syndrome and you need therapy before the anger consumes you, if it hasn't already.

                  Joan wrote of love, but she also wrote a misleading diary.  She didn't call for a change of the law to be applied equally.  She called for lesbians to get a pass, as have you.

                  You specifically called for age of consent to not apply to LGBT because all girls are good and loving, girls are incapable of sexual abuse.
                  Then you call for age of consent laws to remain for hetero sex, because without them us males wouldn't be able to control ourselves and would be raping little girls all across the nation.

                  You reject equality, you reject sanity, and are basically openly calling for LGBT pedifilia.  Get help.

                  •  Thank Goddess there are progressive websites (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    Be Skeptical

                    out there -- such as FireDogLake -- and genuine progressives who are not so obsessed with male supremacy that they feel obligated to hate and punish poor Kaitlyn.

                    We will have LGBT freedom in this country -- and someday children will have human rights - despite the best efforts of dickheaded caveman lawyers to prevent it.

                    Kudos, again, to Joan for "getting it". I wouldn't have expected the dickheads who dominate DKos to get it -- and it doesn't surprise me that they don't.

                    DKos is such an atavistic joke.

                •  You do realize that LGBT includes men, right? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Andrew Lazarus, Vayle

                  Let's see you answer this one.  You said that 18m/15f laws need to be maintained to prevent male rape, because all men are sexual predators.

                  Well what about gay men?  Do you want 18m/15m laws to remain, to prevent adult gay men from raping little boys?  Do the boys deserve the same protection as the girls?  Or is male gay sex also magically loving and pure and never, ever abusive?

                  Because my wife and I have many gay male friends.  Many are in loving relationships, one is getting married this fall.  But we have seen our fair share of abusive gay male relationships.  We have seen horible abuse with our friend getting beaten up by his boyfriend.  We also have a lesbian friend who had to leave her girlfriend due to violent emotional abuse.

                  Sexual abuse and assault is not hetero only like you claim.  Which is why you don't get to have separate age laws for LGBT.  All intimate relationships can become charged and aggressive and abusive.  Which is why they are not for children!

                  •  Mansplain away your hated for Kaitlyn (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    Be Skeptical

                    all you please, and project your own abusiveness onto others.

                    We will only cure this plague of dickheads when women run the legal profession.

                    •  HR for offensive language and lies (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Vayle

                      Wow, where can we send you in 2016 if Hilary gets nominated?  With friends like you....

                      •  HRs are the last refuge of the brain dead eom. (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Unless of course you were to Hide Rate someone... (0+ / 0-)

                          Then I am quite sure the hie rating would be well deserved and you would be a strong and independently minded person for having the strength of character to hide rate someone 'who deserves it'.

                          Again, to your inanity... Whatever.

                          -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                          by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:36:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I know Hillary will need some votes (0+ / 0-)

                        from white males. That was the reason for all the hawkishness, the photos surrounded by generals etc. It disgusted me, but I understood the need for it -- just as I understand why Obama has to lean over backwards to seem non-threatening to whites. Not that either effort convinces some...

                        It didn't matter in the end, because America wasn't ready for a woman president in 2008. [See how diplomatically I put that :-)]

                        But it will be ready in 2016, and Obama will campaign for her.

                        I just hope she doesn't listen as much to all the male advisers she listened to in 2008.

                        Believe it or not, I can be a team player... of sorts. As a child I was not allowed to play on the girls' teams and was forced to play on the boys' teams. But I played for the girls anyway, sabotaging the boys' game to ensure the girls would win. That got me beaten up by the boys frequently, but I never stopped doing it. Integrity of soul is more important than any amount of pain.

  •  Indian River County is super-red. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, sturunner

    It's loaded w/religious righties/Bible belters. That said, both girls should have had enough sense to realize that this was going to cause big trouble cos of the younger girl's parents being very conservative + age 15. These parents better realize that their daughter will turn out to be a lesbian. If so, and her friend's life is ruined, she will hate her parents for the rest of her life. Very sad and tragic situation. Joan, good work as always!!

    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

    by orlbucfan on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:34:09 AM PDT

    •  Have you ever thought through (0+ / 0-)

      stuff you did as a teenager?  Unless the kids can be fortune tellers and are not bored by legalese, you can't really expect them to fully understand the consequences of their relationship until it hits them in the face.

      Not everyone follows politics, after all.

  •  I signed the petition (0+ / 0-)

    and added a comment lamenting the lack of hate-crime laws that apply to prosecutors who enable this sort of abuse of LGBT kids.

  •  This whole, misleading diary should be deleted. (8+ / 0-)

    The issue is about sex with someone who is underage (15), not with someone who is female.

  •  I'm disappointed Joan avoided age (15 or 14) (6+ / 0-)

    Yes, there was no good reason to avoid age of "victim," and it deliberately obscures the situation.  Fact is, she may have been 14 when this started.  

    But I also have serious problems with prosecuting for a sex crime when sex is between two high school students.  It is not at all uncommon in my area (liberal Boston suburbs) for high school senior males to date 9th grade girls.  I think it is problematic, for sure, and many parents of these girls don't like it, or forbid it.  But criminal prosecution is a worse crime, in my opinion.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act--Orwell

    by jhannon on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:36:32 AM PDT

  •  Not sure gay or love is germane to this case... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B, Sparhawk

    The problem is the two allegedly had a sexual relationship outside of the Florida's laws for consent, and Florida law calls it a felony. IMHO, Florida's law is bullshit and the

    Sure, the lesbian nature of the relationship could and probably is the basis for why the charges were filed, but the parents' motivation for pressing charges is not relevant IMO.

    I don't like that they are playing up the gay angle on this...would the progressive community rally around the 18-year old captain of the football team having sex with a 15-year cheerleader?

    By the way, don't you just love how the parents of "the other girl" allowed this "lewd and lascivious" behavior to go on until they could press charges? Gee, thanks for the concern mom and dad. Perhaps you two need a visit from Social Services as well....a little neglectful of your kid's welfare, no?

  •  Excuse me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B

    The sex of the person doesn't matter. This person is having relationships  with someone who, as a minor, is underage and the 18 year old should be prosecuted. Also, she may be contributing to the delinquency of a minor. As for the parents, they are still the 15 year olds parents and have the right to decide who their child associates with. If the 18 year old fell in love and was having a relationship with a 10 year old would this be acceptable? I think not. Looks to me like the 18 year old may be a predator or have some other serious psychosocial issues developmentally.

  •  I bet the headline to this diary would (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, dhonig, Bob B, Susan G in MN

    read differently if the 18 year old was a male Young Republican. This type of poorly researched diary is embarrassing for DKos. Leaving out the facts is what Faux does.

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:41:08 AM PDT

  •  BTW, according to the links: (5+ / 0-)
    Under Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” Law, an “offender” can petition the court to remove the requirement to register as a sex offender if the “victim in the case” is between 14 and 17 years old, “a willing participant in the sexual activity and no more than four years younger than the offender,” but historically the law has only been applied in cases between heterosexuals.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:42:47 AM PDT

  •  I must take exception to your characterization. (8+ / 0-)

    She is not facing this "Because she and another girl fell in love."  It is because she allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old.  Unless you know for a fact that the 15-year-old's parents would have been just fine with an 18-year-old man having sex with their daughter, then this is not a LGBT issue.

    There are plenty of heterosexual people who are registered sex offenders for the very same offense.

    GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

    by NormAl1792 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:46:27 AM PDT

  •  This is an Outrageous Abuse by the Prosecutor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, lgmcp, sturunner

    But these kinds of vindictive prosecutions of teen love aren't limited to same sex couples.  My office mate defended a Del Norte County, California 18 year old boy who had sex with his 17 year old girl friend.  She too had vindictive parents.  Same charges and the same threatened having to register as a sex offender.

    Prosecutors in California have even threatened to prosecute two 14 year olds for having sex with each other.  Americans -- especially District Attorney Americans -- are nutty when it comes to sex.

    The Del Norte DA has recently been disbarred for corrupt practices.  Here's hoping the same happens to the Florida prosecutor.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:46:32 AM PDT

  •  I think she can win a jury vote on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi

    I think story is outrageous enough that she ought to be able at the very least get a hung jury, or acquitted outright, especially if they can get the 'victim' to testify in her favor.

    Without a victim there's just no case to prosecute. And then add just how screwed up the law is written that a lot of people won't agree with it, to the point of not being willing to convict someone of breaking it.

  •  This isn't that unusual (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, dhonig, Vayle

    I was a public defender for several years, and I can tell you that prosecutors did prosecute these cases. Usually, it was when an underage girl became pregnant and the boy would be prosecuted. If the boy was underage, then he'd be prosecuted in juvenile court. I don't recall a girl ever being prosecuted. The only unique thing about this case is that it involves two girls.

     

  •  I would suggest that this diary be edited to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, Bob B, Be Skeptical

    include the age of the child involved in this...so readers can base their decision to sign a petition on all the factors in this case and not just some.  

    Some people will not read all the comments, and might not understand that it is a case of a child/adult relationship.

  •  Treating this as a sex crime is absurd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Batya the Toon, sturunner

    Regardless of gender or sexual preference, automatically treating consensual sex between an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old as a sex crime is ridiculous.  There are very sophisticated 15-year-olds out there, just as there are very naive 18-year-olds. This is particularly true where both parties are girls; their brains mature earlier than boys' do.  As long as we are going to define teen sex as illegal on the basis of strict age limits, we are always going to have unjust results.   A certain amount of prosecutorial or judicial discretion has to be applied to permit factors like IQ, prior sexual experience, consent, and the relative ages of the parties to come into play.  When two kids who attend the same high school have what appears to have been consensual sex, and no other harm has been done, it is both unjust and an enormous waste of judicial  resources to prosecute the older one just because some arbitrary age line got crossed or the younger kid's parents got pissed off.

    Consensual sex is not the worst thing that can possibly happen to a teenager.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, half of all kids between the ages of 15 and 19 have had sex at least once and done so voluntarily.  Maybe we should start looking at gradations of conduct instead of labeling everyone who commits some act of borderline sexual impropriety like this one as a criminal, particularly when conviction will result in the kid being permanently defined as a pedophile or a sex offender.

  •  Some things aren't appropriate for petitions (3+ / 0-)

    This is a terribly sad case, but there's nothing we can do about it. I cannot imagine your petition being taken seriously....or that it should be.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:22:21 PM PDT

  •  ...something like this happened... (0+ / 0-)

    ...locally where I live. A 18 young man was dating a 17 year old fellow student. Her parents did the same thing. Now the young man will be a "sex offender" his whole life as well.

    I guess the world was a lot safer back when I was young. When I was 19 I dated a women who was 17 (one month shy of turning 18). I somehow managed to not get in trouble...though I doubt back then it would have been considered anything unusual.

    Actually, it was a normal as it gets...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:26:32 PM PDT

  •  If this were an 18 year old male being charged, (5+ / 0-)

    no one would blink at charges being filed.

    If it is wrong for an 18 year old male, it is still wrong for an 18 year old female, no matter the sexual orientations of those involved.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:38:10 PM PDT

  •  Torn, Of Course... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, Be Skeptical

    Diary title is definitely misleading...

    The issue here is the AGE of the younger girl, not the gender, IMHO.

    Does it stink that the parents waited until the older girl was 18 to press charges?  

    Absolutely, but the fact is that the law is clear. If this was an older male of he same age, they would throw the book at him.

    Do we need to protect LGBT youth?  

    Without question.  The issue here is to help assure that she gets a fair trial and any leniency typical shown others who have been prosecuted for the same crime.

  •  Among other things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Sparhawk

    this case strikes me as an excellent example of why sexual offender/predator designations and lifetime registries should be reserved for more serious kinds of offenses than raging adolescent hormones.

  •  I'm confused, to put it lightly. (6+ / 0-)

    Are you advocating we do away with statutory rape laws, or just that women shouldn't be subject to them?

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:57:38 PM PDT

  •  No, sorry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, Bob B, Sparhawk, Be Skeptical

    But there is ZERO evidence that this case has anything to do with the fact that the Defendant is gay.

    The law in Florida is really quite simple- a 15 year cannot consent. A 15 year old girl can't consent to sex with a 17 or 18 year old girl. A 15 year old girl can't consent to sex with a 17 or 18 year old boy. A 15 year old boy can't consent to sex with a 17 or 18 year old girl. A 15 year old boy can't consent to sex with a 17 or 18 year old boy. A 15 year old can't consent. Period.

    Unless there is some evidence that the State Attorney's Office in Indian River County refuses to enforce the law unless it is against homosexual relationships, this is just plain wrong.

    Can a 14 year old consent?

    Can a 13 year old consent?

    Can a 12 year old consent?

    How about an 11 year old, or 10, or 9, or 8? Can you have consensual sex with a 7 year old?

    If you are, by now, aghast, then you agree that a line may be drawn by the law. The line in Florida is at 15. Frankly, the combination of physical maturity and mental/emotion immaturity at 15 makes it pretty hard to dispute the reasonableness of the placement of that line.

    So why is this line drawn? Because the persuasive power of an older person over a person of tender years is overwhelming.

    There is no evidence this case is being handled as it is because the parties were is a homosexual, rather than heterosexual relationship.

    As for how the parents responded, I posit that it is beyond our purview to judge parents for how they react to a person having sex with their 15-year old daughter.

    I leave you with this. If the story were of an 18 year old football player and a 15 year old girl how here would be this outraged?

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Mon May 20, 2013 at 12:59:23 PM PDT

    •  Or how about (0+ / 0-)

      an 18-year-old cheerleader and a 15-year-old boy in her school who is just smitten?

      Better yet, it's a 17-year-old cheerleader, she's been "going out" with the 15-year-old boy since the last school year, and now the cheerleader just turned 18.

      Criminally inconsequential up until her birthday, after that it's rape and she's a sexual predator?  I don't think so.

      Where do you draw the line?  For the purpose of enacting legislation, 16 sounds fine to me.   In fact, I'd go with 18 depending on how much older the other one is.  For the purposes of selecting cases that have prosecutorial merit, a 15-year-old having sex with her girlfriend who just happened to turn 18 is a waste of judicial resources.

      Discretion.  It's the difference between busting up a bar that regularly serves alcohol to children and prosecuting a mother who let her 20-year-old son have a glass of wine at Thanksgiving dinner.  The legal drinking age is 21, both scenarios are technically and equally criminal, but that's only stating the obvious.

      •  Where do I draw the line? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't draw the line. Neither do you. The line is drawn by law. in this case, it's 15.

        As for the Defendant's birthday, no, you misunderstand the law. It is a crime whether the accused is 17 or 18.

        Also, the girlfriend didn't "just happen to turn 18." The girlfriend had sex with a 15 year old. The age of the younger girl is the relevant issue under the law.

        As for prosecutorial discretion, I have exercised it. Many times. I find your example unpersuasive. The alcohol law is intended to protect children from the down-sides of people of a certain age drinking - impaired judgment, impaired driving, etc. In the instant case, though, the protection is against those 15 and younger having sex. The irrebuttable presumption is that a 15 year old can't consent any more than a person who has passed out or someone disabled with an IQ of 45.

        People here are fixating on two red herrings, the nature of the relationship and the age of the Defendant. Neither are relevant.

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:40:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The age of the offender is irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

          as a matter of law.  It is not, however, entirely irrelevant.

          I think it's quite relevant to evaluating prosecutorial merit and morality.

          A sexual relation is no more moral between a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who were born exactly a year and 354 days apart than on the day the 17-year-old turns 18, or the following day when the 15-year-old has her birthday and turns 16.  In fact, if anything, it was most morally inappropriate at the first stage (when both were under 18).  It becomes criminal at the second stage (the day the older one turns 18) and then suddenly it's lawful and consensual the following day (when the younger one turns 16).  This is by operation of the law.  What I'm suggesting is that a strict application of the law would be absurd, and only prosecutorial discretion saved the application of the law from absurdity.

          I understand what the law is and what its irrebuttable presumption is.  What I'm arguing is that prosecutorial discretion is required to preserve judicial resources by avoiding absurd results.  I consented to sex when I was 15, and I assure you, while the law strictly applied would not recognize my distinction, my consent was more morally legitimate than the consent of a fully grown, mentally incompetent adult.

          •  I understand what you're saying, though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            you are wrong about a 17 year old turning 18. That changes whether they are prosecuted as a juvenile or an adult, but the crime does not change. That's why the whole folderol about the girl turning 18 is such a red herring.

            As for prosecutorial discretion, it is being exercised in the plea offer. As for whether your consent was more or less than a mentally incompetent adult, the law says it is the same, non-existent.

            My argument is not that the prosecutor should or should not exercise discretion. My argument is with the diary, which presumes without evidence that the prosecution is based on gender, and that in all other cases the discretion was exercised differently. The diary is a lie.

            Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

            by dhonig on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:01:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  What I see in these responses is a lot of guys (0+ / 0-)

    who are terribly jealous that a girl might possibly be allowed to get away with something that they could not get away with. So they scream for "gender blindness".

    I'll bet few of them are as concerned about "gender blindness" when its absence privileges them.

    •  Or maybe you're just upset that your gender (3+ / 0-)

      privilege isn't in force this time.

      Men asking for equality...oh noes, there's something wrong with expecting equality when it means the rules are actually applied equally to a woman... gasp, run for the hills, this must mean the menz are evil...

      One can not preach equality and then expect to be 'more equal".

      -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

      by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:56:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        This entire case is gender-irrelevant--it's about age of consent.

        Your silly "women, have more rights than we do boo hoo hoo" argument is unneeded here, and is unwelcome in any case.

        •  Of course the case is gender irrelevant. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago, Sparhawk

          The sexual orientation of the parties involved is also irrelevant.

          The 18 year old does not get a pass because of gender or because of sexual orientation.

          The argument being made is one that bases gender as a causal factor for lack of blame.

          "2 girls are in love" so that somehow voids the law regarding age of consent...I don't think so.

          M/M, F/F, M/F

          The law should be applied equally... unwelcome as that may be to some.

          -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

          by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:36:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not boo hoo hooing that women (0+ / 0-)

          have more rights than you do. We don't, generally speaking.

          There is a difference because boys are likely to get girls pregnant and boys are much more likely to be coercive (rape) than girls are. But if those facts were dealt with as such -- e.g. make contraceptives including Plan B easily available to girls and treat all coercion as coercion, that would do a lot more good that these stupid laws made up by patriarchal geezers chomping their viagra.

          •  You miss the point entirely. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, Norm in Chicago
            There is a difference because boys are likely to get girls pregnant
            and boys are much more likely to be coercive (rape) than girls are.
            Whether or not pregnancy, or coercion...or STD's are more likely, that is still no excuse.

            Age 18

            Age 15

            By your own argument, this is a bad law for F/F because some 'patriarchal geezers' made up a 'stupid law'.

            However, by your comments, this ceases to be a stupid law if a male is involved.

            This law SHOULD be gender blind, as well as blind to the sexual orientation of the individuals. In all cases, the 18/15 disparity is the issue here.

            That this affects a F/F relationship is irrelevant to the issue of the transgression of the law in place.

            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

            by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:54:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's still a stupid law for M/M or F/M (0+ / 0-)

              if it doesn't consider consentuality, non-coercion and protection against STDs and pregnancy.

              The problem is that it probably has to be a stupid law for F/M because otherwise so many het boys would violate it and blame the girl, and their parents and the authorities would also blame the girl. The lack of such a law would lead to rampant abuse of girls by boys, and the boys would be protected from the consequences of their abuse. The girls would be further abused by the police, their parents etc.

              But why should these two girls be dinged because society is hyper-patriarchal and boys have to be keep on a leash?

              Oh, wait a minute -- enforcing patriarchy is the whole point of these laws.

              •  Evil Patriarchy when you don't agree with it... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, Norm in Chicago, trumpeter
                The problem is that it probably has to be a stupid law for F/M because otherwise so many het boys would violate it and blame the girl, and their parents and the authorities would also blame the girl.
                The lack of such a law would lead to rampant abuse of girls by boys, and the boys would be protected from the consequences of their abuse.
                The girls would be further abused by the police, their parents etc.
                Oh, wait a minute -- enforcing patriarchy is the whole point of these laws.
                I've said -- a feminist perspective is that rape
                is about coercion and misogyny.
                by atana on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:48:28 PM EDT
                So rape is what you decide it is...
                And according to you, it's a 'stupid law' if it applies to F/F but not M/F or M/M.

                Your entire argument embraces the 'female as victim' stance and you openly express a desire for laws which are not 'gender blind' mainly because Boys/Males = Bad, and Girls/Women = Good.

                As a parent, I do not see this as an unreasonable law. Just because you have sympathy for the party(s) involved does not make it a 'stupid law'.

                -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:22:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  ok, so you can't read, either (0+ / 0-)

            Try again . . . .

            (sigh)

          •  You don't treat all coercion as coercion (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vayle

            To you, coercion only applies to men, who all rape.

            I've said -- a feminist perspective is that rape is about coercion and misogyny.
            To you, it's impossible for a female to coerce or rape another woman.  That rape is only possible with a penis.  Which is straight up bullshit.  Do you honestly believe the things you say?
            •  I'm not saying that (0+ / 0-)

              But do you have any evidence that one of the girls coerced the other? No one has mentioned such a thing anywhere in this diary or the comments.

              •  That's not what the law says! (0+ / 0-)

                You need to listen.  If an 18 year old man has consentual sex with a 15 year old girl, it is statutory rape, because 15 isn't age of consent.  She is coerced by definition.

                If an 18 year old woman has consentual sex with a 15 year old girl, it is statutory rape, because 15 isn't age of consent.  She is coerced by definition.

                Now if there was no sex at all, then this entire diary is about nothing.  But if there was sex, then under Florida law it was a sex crime and it doesn't matter if the people involved are hetero or LGBT.  It does not matter!

                Age of consent means it doesn't matter if there was coercion or not, it wasn't legal.  And you don't get to claim that LGBT sex is legal but hetero sex isn't.  This is about the age limit and only about the age limit.

                Stick to the facts of the case and stop trying to twist it around.  In Florida, under the law, a 15 year old, gay or straight, cannot give consent for sex.  And the 18 year old, male or female, cannot legally touch a minor child.

                That isn't patriarchal, it's equal application of the law.  If you want to change the law, then work to change the law for all genders, not just LGBT.

                •  I don't give a FF what patriarchal laws say (0+ / 0-)

                  about LGBT kids. I know perfectly well that you legal people worship coercion and authority. Ethically, the only issue is whether the relationship between the girls was hurtful, coercive. If it was not, then this law is unjust -- and biased against lesbian youth. And if it is an unjust law, us LGBT rabble rousers are going to rouse rabble about it.

                  My point is that nobody is even trying to argue that either girl was hurt by the other girl. All the arguments are that this or that law says this or that. And that is the heart of the problem here. These patriarchal laws and institutions are harmful to LGBT youth. And of course it is by design!

                  Changing the law for all gender would be ok with me, provided that we really enforced strictures against coercion. Given the reaction of the legal types on this list to talk about coercion and misogyny, I think that day may possibly come when most of these institutions are run by women, but that day isn't here now. Boys' infractions would be winked at by the male-dominated state "Justice" apparatus.

                  •  You reject equality, and you lose your case (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Vayle, Sparhawk, Andrew Lazarus

                    I'm going to tell you straight, I don't give an FF about what you say, because you are an LGBT supremist.  You believe that LGBT are so different and special that "hetero" laws just don't apply to you.  And if those laws are applied equally to you, it's only because all of us patricians hate you and are biased against you.

                    No, if you reject equality outright, then you void the legitimacy of your position.  It is entirely disingenuous to say that laws against sex with minors are fine for straight couples but harmful and biased against LGBT youth.  Can you give me one reason, just one, why it is harmful to a 15 year old girl to not have sex with an 18 year old female?  Especially as you feel that her having sex with an 18 year old mail certainly is coercive and harmful, and probably rape?

                    The law can't be applied as you suggest.  It can't be illegal to have harmful underage sex but legal to have non harmful sex.  Legal or illegal cannot be decided after the fact.  An age line had to be drawn, and it has been decided that sex before the age of consent has too much risk of being harmful, regardless of gay or straight sex.  I'm sorry to have to be blunt about this, but LGBT adults do not get to have legal sex with children.  Take that shit to the NAMBLA boards.

                    Personally, I don't want you in charge of the laws on this issue.   It is clear that you would rule all hetero sex as coercive and harmful while giving a pass for all LGBT sex.  Equality doesn't work that way.  You are not arguing for equality, you are arguing for special rights, that LGBT individuals can have sex with anyone at any age, and laws cannot apply to them.

                    I can not respect that position and I cannot respect you for supporting it.  You can embrace equality for all and gain support, or you can argue for nonsensical special treatment and lose support.

                    As long as a single 18 year old man is labeled a sex offender for having consensual, non-harmful sex with an underage girl, I can't give this girl a pass just for being gay.  You can say you would change the laws for all genders, but your bias prevents me from believing you.  That is the price for rejecting equality.

                    •  Someone who spent most of her life trying to stay (0+ / 0-)

                      alive in the cis world, under the fists of cis boys and men, and who has PTSD as a result of it ; someone who lost her professional career and became homeless when she transitioned because, men -- is an "LGBT supremacist".

                      You really give new life to the concept of blaming the victim. But that is SOP in patriarchy. Comfortable, privileged males get to define who is "legitimately" a victim (themselves, of course). And to marginalize and kill off the ones who aren't "legitimate".

                      The Men's Rights Movement is desperate for people like you.

                      •  You obviously can't argue the merits and must (3+ / 0-)

                        resort to personal and/or ad hominem attacks in order to have the 'last word'.

                        You're more-equal-than-equal ideological stance is and has been showing. That stance has been illustrated by your comments quite well.  Well done.

                        With the advances made on marriage equality, that you advocate unequal application of law due to gender and/or sexual orientation to validate a stance of unequal application of the law is entirely ridiculous.

                        -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                        by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:03:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Merits as framed by lawyers aren't relevant (0+ / 0-)

                          The merit question here is whether one of the girls was coerced or harmed by the other. The legal age line the lawyers are fixated on does not answer that question.

                          No one has offered any evidence for coercion or harm. Instead people have arrogated to themselves the power to declare what "the merits" are.

                          I have news for the lawyers and would-be lawyers: we are talking about the need to change the law here. That means, taking the decision about what is just out of your hands and reforging it through the democratic process. Hence, your notions of "the merits" aren't worth squat. This is about ethics -- philosophy -- not law.

                          And we need to bring some LGBT experience and some gender studies to bear on the question a lot more than we need the pontifications of lawyers about what is currently legal. The law for LGBT kids is a history of human rights abuses. When I was a child, my parents had the legal right to have me electroshocked into gender conformity. You lawyers defended their rights to do this; I didn't have any rights at all. That's the sort of institutions you oversee and the sort of "ethics" you practice.

                    •  "Can you give a reason why it is harmful to a 15 (0+ / 0-)

                      year old girl to not have sex with an 18 year old female"

                      Logic doesn't seem to be your strong point. The ethical question is whether the 15 year old was in fact harmed, and no one here has offered any evidence she was. The burden of proof is on those who claim she was harmed.

                      Calling the 18 year old an "Adult" is a lawyerly sort of trick which nicely illustrates why lawyers cause most people gastric distress when you have to spend time with them. These were two girls, both in high school. You are using one of your typically patriarchal abstractions to harm these girls. This is why we need to change the sex ratio in your profession until it is female-dominated. Then perhaps we will begin to have some humane laws and legal institutions. Until then, the law seems to be suffering from severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

                      •  Ethically, it is wrong to have sex with a minor (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Bailey2001, Andrew Lazarus, Vayle

                        I already agreed with you that most likely the 15 year old was not harmed.  And yes, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to show harm.  But it is very possible that the 15 year old was harmed.  15 is a young age, she is still growing up and no, she may not be mature enough to handle an adult sexual relationship.  That is why we have age of consent laws, to draw a line between childhood and adulthood.  It is to give teenagers time to grow up and mature before engaging in adult sex that all too often is emotionally traumatic and harmful.  No, LGBT sex is not magically immune from all the downsides of sex.

                        I did agree with you that the laws can be changed.  I see no benefit in criminalizing 18/15 sex.  But it is also clear to me that you will reject all age lines, no matter where they are drawn.

                        Because if 18/15 is okay, then what about 19/15?  What about 18/14 or 19/13?  There must be a line somewhere to separate adult and child.  Without a line, someone somewhere would claim that a 20 year old having sex with a 12 year old is beautiful and natural, and not at all harmfull.
                        But no, that is bordering on pedifilia and is almost certainly harmful to the 12 year old.

                        Wherever we draw the line, someone will be just on the other side of it.  And the answer to that problem is that the younger person simply has to wait a bit, and grow up a bit, before having sex.  Why do you reject that?

                        And I wanted to say one more thing to you.  I have been sexually assualted by a woman.  My sister-in-law, my brother's wife.  One day she decided to share her sick fantasies with me and tell me how she loved me and wanted to fuck me.  Told me how everytime I visited my brother how she dreamed of fucking me.  She begged me to fuck her.  She got very angry when I rejected her.  My brother took her side, blamed me, said I must have hit on her first.  And I will probably never see my brother again.

                        So you can take your sanctamonious bullshit and shove it.  Women can be just as sexaully agressive and abusive as a man.  And yes, an 18 year old woman can be sexually agressive to a 15 year old girl, who may not be prepared to handle it.  Hell, I wasn't prepared for it at 35.  

                        We have laws for a reason, they aren't there just to punish LGBT.  As long as that is your basic position, we have nothing left to discuss.  I simply urge you to stop promoting sex betwen adults and minors.

                        •  My ex was sexually abused by her mother. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Norm in Chicago

                          She had to work through a lot growing up, the guilt she felt for being abused, as well as the guilt over her mother being in prison (from her point of view - 'because of her'). It took her a long time to realize she was not the one to blame for her mothers actions/choices.

                          The idea that girls/women can not be abusive is absurd.

                          -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                          by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:30:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  15 will get you 20 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cloud9ine

    She was a High School Senior having sex with one of the
    freshman.

    When I was in school, i knew of various seniors banging various girls who were in trouble.

    The law used to specify that if a Girl was under 18, you could get prosecuted for statutory rape, without regard to the boys age.

    I'd say she used poor judgement and now it's biting her.

    Now I also think the prosecutor is using poor judgement.

    a smart prosecutor would either no paper this or slow roll
    it, and if nothing else happens, let it expire.

  •  What is the age of consent? (0+ / 0-)

    If it under 18 and they engaged in sexual intercourse, she should be prosecuted, same as if they were a heterosexual couple.

    If it is 16 (as in my home state of California), then the prosecutor likely won't get past the arraignment, assuming half-way competent attorney for the defense.

    One standard applies: were both participants in any sexual act competent consenting adults?  If so, no problem.  If not, prosecute.  The question of whether it is fair to have different state standards for competency and age of consent is a different matter entirely.

  •  I'm not sure what I think here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, Bob B, Andrew Lazarus

    You see, we just had a long, drawn out mess with a young man of 19 deciding that my granddaughter who will be 15 next week was his soul mate. Now, there were a number of other issues beyond the age question but it certainly was a factor for us, along with the fact that there was already an order of protection against him for another girl of similar years & that he has some clear stalker tendencies, self-destructive behaviors,etc. The issue was mainly that she was being pressured into a relationship she had no idea how to handle by someone who was able to manipulate her. The police did become involved and the connection was finally broken off but it was a very tense & hard time for everybody.

    I don't think the fact that this is a same-sex relationship makes it automatically OK or automatically anything I guess. So much depends on circumstances we can't know but I don't think many parents are going to OK a sexual relationship for a girl that young. (Yes, I know it happens. -I  taught middle school forever- but most parents aren't going to encourage it.) It is a very tough call in these cases whether a teenager is being pressured or not.

    Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

    by gelfling545 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:33:41 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, but your situation is different (0+ / 0-)

      because the guy who stalked your granddaughter had a rap sheet.  Kaitlyn Hunt did not have a previous record, by all accounts.

      These cases need to be treated as a case-by-case basis,  and not based on just because the parents don't like that their angels are having sex.

      •  True and when my daughter first contacted (0+ / 0-)

        the police they were inclined to say, there, there, hysterical mother until she gave them the name.

        Still, the laws are on the books & if the parents press hard enough I don't know what else the police/prosecutor could do.

        My daughter was also told by the counselor they talked to that if they failed to take action they could be seen as condoning illegal acts & therefore neglectful. It's a very weird situation to deal with.

        Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

        by gelfling545 on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:07:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

        somebody was the first victim.

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:10:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ITT: Implicit support for NAMBLA. (0+ / 0-)

    Economic Left/Right: -7.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
    Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

    by jvance on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:39:56 PM PDT

  •  There are several different arguments here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle

    1. Is this an lgbt issue? In some ways yes, because the parents clearly have an issue with her having a same sex relationship. However, males get prosecuted for this frequently and it does appear that the original poster and others here do have more empathy for the 18 year old in this case, because she's female and/or its same sex.

    2. Should age of consent laws exist, and if yes where should the lines be? This is a hard one. I tend to be more 'liberal' on this than some here in that I think that either a wider age gap should be acceptable (say up to 5 years), and/or the age should be a little lower. There are a lot of very mature and active 15 year olds. You have to have some balance between the crime and the punishment. Rape prosecution and sex offender status is a big deal, it needs to be reserved for real crimes.

    3. Should penalties be as harsh as they are? (equivalent to forcible rape in many jurisdictions). I'd argue no. We've way overcriminalized it. I have two tween daughters. No way do I want to see them in a relationship with an 18 year old when they are 14. But if its 'consensual' in the everyday meaning of the word, do I think that 18 year old should be jailed and labeled a sex offender for life. No, that's ridiculous. Do I think it'd be reasonable for that 18 year old to be given a restraining order to not sexually be involved any longer? Sure, and if they violate that they have some sort of criminal consequences? Sure. Should it be 15 years in jail and sex offender status for life? No.

  •  This is one sad argumentative thread (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediamaverick

    . . . especially by 2 or 3 ignorant posters who clearly don't understand or remember high school loves, or who just want to spray righteousness around. Yes, there are fuzzy grounds here, but to criminalize what MAY (we none of us know the details) be just two young females falling in love - seems harsh. Perhaps that's because I can relate to it -- having had an older boyfriend AND an older girlfriend (2.5 years older/ 2 years older) in high school. The fact that we didn't progress to third base -- and HOW would anyone KNOW that? SCOTUS in our bedrooms again??? -- apparently saved them from prosecution. . .

    It's ridiculous to prosecute this, IMO - and it may ruin that young woman's life. I think it's bigoted parents, period - but let's wait and find out, shall we? I just don't get the telephone wiretap. SERIOUSLY?

    •  the law DOES recognize high school loves (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, Andrew Lazarus

      That's why the Romeo and Juliet provision limits and reduces any penalties for people who are dating underage partners within a few years of their own age.

      That is not the issue.  The issue is that the age of consent in Florida is 16, and NOBODY is allowed under the law to have sex with an underage child. Period.

      I can see an argument that the PUNISHMENT for having sex with an underage child should/could be mitigated if the older partner is themself within a few years of that age.  But I can see no argument at all for concluding that sex with underage children should not be illegal, or that it should be legal under some circumstances and not others.

      I welcome hearing any arguments for that which you'd like to make, though . . . . as long as you stop with the "ignorant" unnecessariness.

    •  Kudos! (0+ / 0-)

      May Goddess bless you all your days!

      Some guys really believe that their daughter's sexuality is their personal property.

  •  This is one sad argumentative thread (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, mosesfreeman

    ...especially by some ignorant posters who clearly don't understand that applying the law 'equally to all' is important even where 'high school loves' are involved.

    It's obvious that the parents in this case may/do disapprove of the relationship due to the sexual orientation of the girls, but that does not eliminate the age/consent legal issue which completely supersedes gender and sexual orientation of those involved.

    The law is still the law whether or not:
    the parents are bigots.
    the parties are M/M, M/F, or F/F.
    feeling or 'high school loves' are involved

    It's ridiculous to assume that if a male is involved the law should apply one way but if it is two females, that the law should apply differently. SERIOUSLY?

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:36:17 PM PDT

  •  GD f-ing morons! (0+ / 0-)

    With so many states recognizing gay marriage and gay rights Florida does this? What a waste of taxpayer money!
    I assume they will also prosecute any male HS student who is 18 who dates a girl under 18? No? Seriously?

    Signed the petition and posted it to facebook!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:53:45 PM PDT

  •  "Hunt was a highly respected student..." (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone who truly respected Kaitlyn Hunt for who she is, still respects Kaitlyn Hunt for who she continues to be.  Nothing has changed since before her arrest, except that hatred and bigotry in a state known for hatred and bigotry has once again reared its ugly head.

    Both girls, less than three years apart in age had a "relationship." Was there "illegal" sexual intimacy involved?  Who knows?  But unless the state has a pretty strong "peek in your bedroom" case to win a conviction, is there really a court in the land willing to wander into the briar patch of emotional relationships between teenagers by parsing the "appropriate" definition of love?

    If Ms. Hunt and her family are able to ward-off pressure from prosecutors to accept a plea arrangement, it does not seem far-fetched to believe that the State of Florida will lose this one, as it should. If ever there was an appropriate time for the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders to step-up to advocate on  behalf of the rights of America's gay youth to freely associate, this is it.

    When all is said and done, the parents of the 15 year-old young woman should look in the mirror if they should ever find that their daughter has one day abandoned them because of their bigoted, hateful and judgmental ways, or worse yet, is found hanging from a tree.”

    It is more than a little unjust in 2013, that maturing teenagers of the same sex in states such as Massachusetts and California are celebrated for who they are, while in Florida they are led away in handcuffs.

    "The highest patriotism is not blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain." --George McGovern

    by Progressive Pride on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:06:52 PM PDT

  •  Prosecutor a child for child pornography? (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a hypothetical that's an analogous reference point of this discussion.

    Suppose a 17-year-old girl sends a picture of her bare breasts in sexually suggestive manner to her 17-year-old boyfriend.  It's accompanied with a brief explicit comment which further supports the sexual purpose of the photo of her breasts.

    Under federal child pornography law, 18 USC 2256, the picture she sent could be construed as "a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor."  Under the law, "sexually explicit conduct" does not require that the image depict the minor engaging in sexual activity.  "Sexually suggestive" is all it takes, and that's determined by the surrounding circumstances.

    The law prohibits "production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography."

    So, would it be an abuse of prosecutorial discretion to prosecute either or both the 17-year-old girl who produces and distributed the sexually explicit image or the 17-year-old boyfriend who received and possessed it?  

    A local high school has been trying to deal with a rash of "sexting" among students -- generally between boyfriends and girlfriends.  The principal has threatened the study body with prosecution, citing child pornography laws.  When I inquired about the applicability of child pornography laws to such "sexting" cases among high school peers, I was told by somebody familiar with the problem that the law indeed, as written, does cover such cases.  She said, however, that the warning is more of a bluff, the school has no intention to or conceive of actually seeking very serious child pornography charges against students engaged in sexting.  Such charges would ruin them for life, more so than any amount of sexting might do.

    Suppose the parents of one of them became really upset or strongly disapproved of the dating relationship, and they insisted that the local DA take charges of child pornography seriously.  So, is the law the law?  Or is there more to the law than the law itself?  Like, say, common sense?  and a understanding of the evil the law was intended to prevent?

  •  Well, Joan, I think you have your answer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediamaverick

    Plenty of guys on DKos are just fine with throwing the book at this Sapphic Satan of an 18 year old... because, they think she is getting away with something they wanted to do when they were that age but couldn't.

    All that "girls in love" stuff went straight to where it always does go in the minds of guys like that. It just isn't fair! Gender equality means they should have been able to rape in the back seat of cars at that age if Lesbians are to be tolerated in High School! Bring on the Law!

    Note to teens:

    The Lawyers of DKos are watching all you little girls, so you'd better be careful. Once upon a time, Mrs Grundy was the one you needed to fear. Now it is Mr Grundy, the public prosecutor, who -- when he is not pursuing protestors at city parks and college campuses -- is listening in on your phone calls and becoming very... excited at the things you say to your friends.

    I suggest that if you can afford it, you and all your friends download Kryptos for iPhone from the iTunes store and use it on your phones. It gives you 256-bit military-strength AES encryption on you phone calls, but it costs $10 a month to use it and both you and the person you are calling need to be using it for it to protect you from Mr Grundy.

    We need a free, open source version of this App.

    Hack the World!

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      I mentioned it above, but as a woman who played high school basketball as a girl (and was coming out), my basketball team was a special place where I could be who I was.  I think that aspect of this is getting lost in this "discussion."  

      These girls were not only peers, but were also gay in an environment that appears to be pretty hostile to them.  One should have some understanding of that before viewing the older girl as an agressor or someone who should be prosecuted under the law.

      I have a 15 year old daughter who's a freshman in high school.  Were she "dating" a male classmate who happened to be a senior I would probably not be happy, but as a parent I would try to talk to her to figure out if it was a good thing for her.  I certainly wouldn't go running off to the law to complain.  I don't think this kind of situation should be dealt with in the court of law unless there's some form of assault or stalking.

      However as a gay woman who came out on a high school basketball team (but remained closeted 'cuz I didn't have a choice) I have a lot of understanding of this situation and think it's a travesty that some on this thread view it as OK for this young woman to be prosecuted.

      Sorry, but if you haven't lived life as a gay kid who felt different, was all alone, but found her calling on a "team" then you really don't understand what transpired.

      As for the actual "sex" that took place, well I don't expect that it was all that adventurous....(if my own experience is any indication).

      •  And if not? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gunnarthor

        "I would try to talk to her to figure out if it was a good thing for her. "

        What would you do about the older boy then? The punishments in this case look out-of-line, but I'm not enthusiastic about 15-y.o.s having sex, period, and with older partners, exclamation mark.

        Outside a mandatory reporting job, I'm not sure what the story should be with a 15-y.o., maybe the AoC is wrong here, but say 16 and 13??

        •  This is why we need Plan B available otc (0+ / 0-)

          Because though you may not like 15 year old girls having sex, they do have it.

          However, that concern is irrelevant in this case. The only legitimate objection possible would be if one of the girls was coerced by the other. And none of the prosecutor types here have even attempted to argue that; mostly they just mansplain "you don't understand the law!"

          •  At what age do we stop caring about "coercion" (0+ / 0-)

            I mean, your not going to tell me that sex (of any description) with a 5-y.o. is OK if there was no overt coercion, so where exactly is the line? Somewhere pretty near 15, I would think. But which side?

            •  We *never* stop caring about coercion (0+ / 0-)

              If a 50 year old man coerces his wife to have sex with him, he is committing a rape.

              It's very odd to me that you think concern about coercion in relationships --  of any type -- is something strange and unheard of. I suppose that is because patriarchal law doesn't care whether men are bullies to wives, children, coworkers etc. Coercion is normal in patriarchy. Rape is normal.

            •  The answer to your question about where to draw (0+ / 0-)

              the line is that whenever there is inequality of power, there is likelihood of coercion.

              In a society in which males have much more power than females, essentially all heterosexual sex is rape by males, because it is never really consensual.

              •  Andrea Dworkin is so 1970s (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical, Vayle, gunnarthor
                In a society in which males have much more power than females, essentially all heterosexual sex is rape by males, because it is never really consensual.
                We no longer see this is a brilliant political insight, nor are Dworkin's late-life paranoid delusions something I wish on anyone.

                I'm not sure there's much purpose to continuing to respond. I think you will find remarkably few people (including, I might add, women and even gay women) think along these lines any more. I'm sorry for whatever trauma you have suffered, but not for attacking fuzzy (and anti-straight) thinking.

  •  How about: Let's NOT do this (0+ / 0-)

    Let's not criminalize teens for being sexual.  Let's not hyperventilate that 'she was 18 and should have known better.'  What, when she was 17 and the other girl was 15, it was ok, but on her 18th birthday she magically became a sex predator?  Absurd.
    I have heard nothing in any of the reporting on this issue that the younger girl was ever coerced or manipulated or threatened in any way.  Until I do, I see nothing here with the relationship between these two girls.  Nothing.  And yes, the exact same reasoning applies to an 18 year old boy and 15-year-old girl/18yo boy and 15 yo boy/18 yo girl and 15 yo boy.
    And please don't tell me 'there has to be a bright line! and she crossed it!'  More and more states now have 'Romeo and Juliet' laws explicitly designed to prevent consensual teen relationships from being prosecuted as sex crimes.  From what I've heard, Florida has a very weak version of this: you (the older teen) still get prosecuted as a criminal, but you can 'petition' to avoid lifetime registration as a sex offender.  Whoo hoo.  Typically these cover age differences of 3 or 4 years, I believe.  These girsl were less than 3 years apart in age.  Why can't Florida pass a law saying that if the age differnece is less than 3 years, consensual sex is not a crime?
    This is the same deranged hysteria that leads to teens being prosecuted for 'child pornography' for sexting each other.  Let's stop doing this sh*t.  Let's stop openly portraying sexuality on cable TV and in film and exploiting it in advertising and then being hysterical about sexual contact between two teens whose bodies and minds are encouraging them to have sex.  Let's allow sexuality todevelop rather than being punished.    

  •  Also (3+ / 0-)

    This entire diary has zero to do with LGBT issues. Are FPers just allowed to post whatever the hell misleading garbage they feel like without any review?

    The fundamental issue is that one of the girls is underage, a critical fact that the diary does not mention.

    Joan, do I now have to fact check every one of your diaries to be sure you aren't lying to me?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon May 20, 2013 at 08:37:49 PM PDT

    •  This diary has everything to do with LGBT issues (0+ / 0-)

      If you can't identify with what those two girls felt for each other, maybe you should just keep quiet.

      Believe it or not, girls that old men have decreed to be "underage" have been falling in love with each other for much longer than there have been lawyers. And they will continue to do so despite your yelling at clouds.

      And some of us think it is quite beautiful.

      •  Are you making an argument against all AoC? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, gunnarthor

        I think it would help your argument if you were more explicit that what 18 year old boys and 15 year old girls feel for each other (BTW, why does feeling like that mean you have to have sex??) is also OK with you.

        Unfortunately, for some reason, you want to make sure this thread is full of LGBT drama, to the extent I can't find you making an argument about heterosexual age-of-consent, one way or another. This strikes me as an attempt to justify your own personal history, at the expense of making a cogent generic argument.

        FWIW, according to Wikipedia (I don't have a TV), Willow and Tara were college age when they were intimate. Not that I entirely see your point.

        •  Goddess. Two girls are in love and are persecuted (0+ / 0-)

          for it, and Joan asked people to sign a petition against the homophobic persecution. But all the guys on this list seem able to care about is whether boys will get to rape girls in back seats of cars.

          This is an LGBT diary, which was hijacked by guys who wanted to make it about age of consent (in other words, about them when they were kids). Those of us in the LGBT community are in a better position to understand the bigotry and oppression the girls face than people with het/cis privilege, and we are entitled to comment on the topic from our own experience. I'm not aware that I need to justify my personal history to you. That's -- at best -- exactly the sort of het/cis privileged outlook I'm talking about.

          •  Because this has everything to do with age of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vayle, gunnarthor

            consent, and that is exactly what she will be charged with.  It was an adult having sex with a child.

          •  And if it were a boy and girl in love? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vayle, gunnarthor

            As far as I can tell your opinion is: if it's two girls, then they are in love having a blissful experience and let's not talk about age, but if it is a het couple, it's rape. That doesn't work for me. Many, many 15-y.o. (and younger!) girls willingly have sex with older boys. Far more, I dare say, than with older girls. I won't say consensually, because that's the whole point, isn’t it? That there is an age of consent?

            I would not be so quick to say that those of us who want to know your position on age of consent are thinking of ourselves when we were kids. For one thing, you, too, seem to be projecting your own LGBT experience, and not at all about general cases. For another, we may be thinking of our own children (both boys and girls). And for this, we aren't amused by a campaign for NAWGLA.

            •  If there is coercion, it is rape (0+ / 0-)

              If there is an inequality of power, there is a presumption of coercion. These two girls are social peers. There is no presumption of coercion. Nor does anyone have any positive evidence of coercion.

              I don't understand the male obsession with sex. We don't even know that these girls had "sex" according to whatever legal definition the old bald male lawyers have concocted.

              Yet the only thing the AoC guys can talk about is all the "sex" the girls were having. I think that tells us much about the AoC guys, but nothing about the ethics of this case or the rights of the two girls to love each other.

              •  You've destroy your own argument. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical, Andrew Lazarus

                You accuse hatred in others. Easy to accuse hatred to shut down a discussion..., and then you insult others directly or indirectly.

                By your other comments in this thread, you indicate that 'love' vs. 'sex' is at issue here yet you dismiss the love between  M/F or M/M precisely because a male in involved.

                Love was never at issue. The AoC is the legally binding issue here and it should be applied equally amongst all no matter gender or sexual orientation.

                Your sexism and bias is obvious. That you feel the need to lash out with name calling and accuse others with lies is sad.

                I pity you.

                -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:14:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Love was the point of the whole diary. (0+ / 0-)

                  Perhaps love has never have been an "issue" for you, in your life. Perhaps only sex has ever been an issue for you.

                  •  Your bias is obvious. (0+ / 0-)

                    Perhaps you should quit making asinine assumptions.

                    Ad hominem much?

                    Perhaps love has never have been an "issue" for you, in your life. Perhaps only sex has ever been an issue for you.
                    Don't answer. We already know.

                    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                    by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:36:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Het/cis privilege much? (0+ / 0-)

                      The het cases here keep trying to make an issue of my being LGBT (specifically T). They use this to attempt to marginalize my argument, then accuse me of ad hominem.

                      Blaming the victim, much?

                      Let's face it: law is only half a step removed from intimidation and the field attracts bullies. I've never met a lawyer who didn't get off on having power over people. This is what happens in a patriarchal culture. The only cure possible is to get so many women into the field that it is no longer distorted by male aggression, sexism, coercion, authoritarianism and craving for power over others.

                      That day will come, even in America -- if we don't all fry from global warming first.

                      •  Not blaming the victim (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Vayle

                        Blaming the asshole.

                        I wonder how many victims you leave in your self-righteous wake each day?  I'd hate have to to clean up the stench of all the retching you evoke among those you try to enlighten.

                      •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                        Eliminating the Hetero/LGBT from the argument boils it down to Age of Consent for 'anyone'.

                        You're the one indicating that LGBT should get special consideration, but only if Female. You've made it obvious that anything Male related doesn't pass your biased inspection.

                        Your loathing and/or hatred of men is what is obvious.

                        The existing law is and should be blind to gender and sexual orientation.

                        -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                        by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:52:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The statistics on rape are what they are. (0+ / 0-)

                          But lawyers aren't quantitative types, I know -- constructing likelihood estimators isn't part of their job. Logic chopping and special pleading is what they are paid for.

                          The only solution to the reactionary masculism that prevails in our society, as I have said, to fill the legal profession -- all professions -- and legislatures with women.

                          But there is some hope too that younger males are not as homophobic and transphobic as the establishment guys on DKos.

                          •  And now you make another baseless accusation... (0+ / 0-)

                            Whatever...

                            Not.Worth.It.

                            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:11:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm returning your baseless accusations against (0+ / 0-)

                            Kaitlyn. You presumed all sorts of things about her based on a label -- lesbian. I'm presuming all sorts of things about lawyers based on stereotypes.

                            How does it feel?

                          •  I've presumed nothing based on her sexuality. (0+ / 0-)

                            Her sex and her gender do not enter into the issue of whether the age of consent should apply.

                            Whether you like the law or not, the issue at hand is an 18 year old and a 15 year old.

                            I'm presuming all sorts of things...
                            It's apparent you are presuming much, about me, about others, about people in general here on Daily Kos...
                            I wouldn't have expected the dickheads who dominate DKos to get it -- and it doesn't surprise me that they don't.
                            That's you generalizing people on Daily Kos in a disparaging manner. This discussion is about equal application of the law. I still find it interesting that marriage equality should apply equally but in your opinion age of consent laws should not.  Sounds like special consideration based on gender and/or sexual orientation to me...

                            I will not concede the discussion, even if you feel compelled to have the last word with insults or other ad hominem attacks.

                            How does it feel?
                            You're actually attacking and disparaging people on this site, people who actually support equality, but your warped ideological viewpoint won't let you see reason regarding application of the actual law...which is fair and should be blind where gender and sexual orientation are concerned. There are obviously issues that need to be taken into account with 'young love', but those laws exist for good reasons and were not created solely to harm anyone.

                            ...unless of course you believe you should receive 'special treatment' and not equal treatment. Or is special treatment where you are concerned actually 'equal treatment' in you eyes? Sounds like ideological BS to me.

                            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:51:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The diary was an appeal for people (0+ / 0-)

                            who could empathize with the two girls to sign a petition protesting the prosecutorial overreach and homophobla.

                            What we have seen, is that many respondents on DKos identify with the prosecutor and the homophobia, rather than the girls. I can't honestly say I find this surprising, but I am calling it out in this case.

                            Prosecutors who are clearly enabling homophobia should be penalized for it, ideally by losing their jobs. And they will be, before long. But clearly not with help from DKos.

                            The rationalization of homophobia and cruelty toward children here on DKos by some lawyers is inexcusable in a site that claims to be "progressive". Of course, no one elsewhere in the blogosphere is deluded about how "progressive" DKos actually is.

                          •  No. Again, you miss the obvious. (0+ / 0-)

                            This is not about gender, or sexual orientation, it is about equal application of the law.

                            If the case is made that special consideration be made due to gender or sexual orientation, then we lose the very ground we try to claim where equality is concerned, and where equal application of law to all is paramount.

                            Just because you refuse to see this does not make those who advocate the equal application of the law as people who are against LGBT rights. That you would disparage and dismiss so many people who are for equality is what is sad.

                            Instead you blame them for not having and supporting your specific opinion(s) and label them as haters.Way to go there. Hope that works out for you.

                            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:25:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            Read what Joan wrote. You may think you are entitled to reframe what she wrote to the discussion you want to have, but Joan wrote about two girls falling in love and being attacked by homophobic parents and prosecutors.

                            Just declaring, over and over again, that the diary is "really" about some chalk mark laywers have drawn on the pavement, and the supreme of that activity in the cosmos, does not change the diary she wrote.

                            "We" are wise to these tricks of grabbing the framing of a discussion. You aren't fooling us. You want this to be all about you and what you do. It isn't. It's about two LBGT girls and the oppression they suffer in the world you smug het/cis privileged haters dominate and run.

                            Well, not forever, you won't.

                          •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                            Just because Joan framed things about love, does not mean that is what is actually at the heart of the issue here.

                            Continue your accusations of hatred and your other inane arguments regarding how this 'should be viewed' as you will.

                            Equality is and should be for all, but based on your comments, you would have special laws for labeled groups and it is easy to surmise what laws men in general would be subject to based on your opinions.

                            Based on your viewpoint, screw equality because men are evil and deserve whatever you decide they do...that's no legal system, it's a farce, as are your arguments.

                            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:47:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And of course, only lawyers can see (0+ / 0-)

                            what is the "true" heart of the discussion. It's not love between two girls -- it's chalk marks on the pavement drawn by lawyers, and the cosmic importance of punishing those who walk over them.

                            Also, if you look at data you are evil. Pay no attention to rape statistics or climate statistics. All you need to understand reality is the chalk marks lawyers draw on the pavement.

                            And, of course, immense respect for the men who draw them. That is the most important thing in the universe.

                          •  Whatever... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical

                            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

                            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:54:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, you can fall back on your privilege (0+ / 0-)

                            for now. But the evil Sapphists and the Transsexual Menace are on the march. The White Het Male Race is going to have to withdraw to its homeland in Montana, where they will legislate the sexual behavior of their girls and wives until the day comes when they notice all their girls and wives have left them.

                          •  I don't think there is any chance we can have sane (0+ / 0-)

                            legal institutions about children in a society that is as patriarchal as this one. Children's rights are the next great moral hurdle, but as with women's rights patriarchy, is in the way. We are still a couple of generations away from true sexual equality in the US, and children's rights will come to the foreground as that equality emerges.

                            The best we can hope to do right now is whack-a-mole for homophobic prosecutors. We can't even have the broad discussion that would be necessary, because certain topics such as male violence are off limits so long as institutions are still dominated by patriarchal men. That will change in coming decades -- lots of female Ph.Ds in the pipeline now.

              •  There was an inequality of power here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Vayle

                Whether or not you want to admit it.  

            •  As for the het case -- "Romeo and Juliet" (0+ / 0-)

              If the relationship is truly devoid of all coercion, and the girl is protected against a pregnancy she isn't ready for emotionally and economically, then I would say fine.

              But date rape is extremely common, and statistically, "truly devoid of all coercion" is a very rare thing where young males are involved. That is the real, social function reason behind the AoC laws -- to protect the girls from predatory males (well, historically, really to protect the father's property rights over the girl's sexuality).

              Having been privy to much male locker room conversation in my trans childhood, I know well just how predatory males of that age are toward girls. I'm afraid the fact is that there is a presumption of coercion in the het case.

              Still, there might be an exception, and it would be an ethical exception.

              As for what the law should say -- I'm not a lawyer, I'm a STEM type. I don't expect rationality from lawyers or their laws, only logic chopping and word games.

              But as others have pointed out in this diary, there was prosecutorial discretion whether to apply clearly laws that are clearly absurd in this case. And we don't have to put up with prosecutors who are haters. Public opposition can remove them from their job. And that is what is needed in this case. Pour encourager les autres.

    •  Not Joan's first time (0+ / 0-)

      unfortunately.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:13:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That woman just doesn't know her place! (0+ / 0-)

        It's amazing she is allowed to be on the FP here. Maybe you guys will drive her away to Wonkette.

        •  Who said anything about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          "her place"?

          Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

          by dhonig on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:02:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The framing of this topic has been poor. (0+ / 0-)

            Police report
            http://www.scribd.com/... report:

            The older girl was 18 when the relationship began. The victim was 14. Trying to play on people's emotions does not change the fact the law as it stands was broken. Even if the relationship had begun when the older girl was 17, it would still have been illegal under a different statute.

            Asking for special consideration undermines the fight for equality and give ammunition to those who accuse people who support LGBT rights that equality is not the goal.The law should be blind to the gender and sexual orientation of the parties involved.

            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

            by Vayle on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:50:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What I noticed from the police report (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vayle

              is sex in the school bathroom. Nothing says a blissful relationship on Cloud Nine as much as going at each other in a stall. Not.

              The long prison term is ridiculous, but I don't see why 14-y.o.s shouldn't be protected from this sort of relationship, in any gender combination.

  •  Only 47 recs, but 440 comments, mostly negative (0+ / 0-)

    I'm guessing that not many DKos members were thrilled by the episode of Buffy when Willow and Tara danced on air.

    "It gets better" doesn't seem to be the favorite flavor on "progressive" DKos... more like "Father Knows Best".

  •  We can only guess the parents's intent (0+ / 0-)

    Yet, could there be anything more diabolically cruel to their daughter than to cold-bloodedly wreck the life of what's probably her first love?

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:30:11 PM PDT

    •  Yes, there could be (0+ / 0-)

      I know people whose parents had them electroshocked to make them gender-normative. My own parents would much rather I had died than had a gender transition.

      Children are prisoners of their parents, and most parents of LGBT kids would really prefer that they die. I know there are occasional stories of supportive parents, but they are rarer than hen's teeth for transgender kids. Kaitlyn's mother seems supportive, but the parents of the younger girl, claiming that Kaitlyn "made their daughter gay" and prosecuting her, are very commonplace examples of the bigotry all LGBT kids are daily threatened by.

      And frankly, DKos reeks of that heterosexist bigotry.

    •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

      They could let an adult predator rape their daughter.  That'd be much, much worse.

  •  I can't believe this story is being framed this wa (4+ / 0-)

    This is the first time I can remember reading an article at Daily Kos and feeling like I was hearing a distorted story on Faux News.  
    This story has nothing to do with sexual orientation.  The girl is not being charged because she fell in love.  She being charged because the younger girl was 14 when the relationship started, and in the state of Florida, the age of consent is 15.  You don't get a free pass because it's a gay relationship, or because of gender.  If this was a 14 year old girl and a 18 year old boy, the boy would be charged with rape.  
    While it is entirely believable that the parents are being vindictive here, they say that the older girl lied to them about her age, and when they found out the real age, that's when they pressed charges.  I have seen the EXACT same scenario play out with a 18 year old boy and a 14 year old girl.  When the parents found out the real age, they prosecuted.
    The parents also have a recorded call between the girls where they discuss one of their sexual encounters.  This is proof of physical contact.
    As for those that make the point that it seems to have been ok when the older girl was 17, and one day later when she's 18 it's not ok, let me ask you a question.  If the legal drinking age in your state is 18, and you get caught by the cops drinking at 17 years 11 months and 29 days, are you guilty of drinking underage?  yes, you are.  it may not be a fair law,, it's definitely one being broken everday across the country in every single state, maybe even every single high school, but it's the law.  Guys have known for decades "15 will get you 20".  The same principal applies, "love" is not a factor here, nor is sexual orientation or gender.

    •  Good reply (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vayle

      CNN's article is here: http://www.cnn.com/...

      I can say if I found out my 14 year old daughter was having sex with an 18 year old, I'd want charges filed against that sleaze ball.  And I'd be pretty angry if I found out that the parents of the predator blamed us for its criminal acts.  

      Our statutory rape laws are screwed up and there's a lot wrong with them, state by state.  A discussion on fixing those is worthwhile but arguing that an adult having sex with a 14 year old is ok b/c they are the same sex is completely wrong.

  •  Another petition not worthy of diverting our time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle, gunnarthor

    There are plenty of outrages.  Plenty of crises.  Plenty of disasters on the brink.  Many deserve our attention and action.

    Even when the world is not in immediate danger there are plenty of personal situations where someone is being unfairly treated by their school, employer, district attorney, etc. that raise important issues of fundamental fairness and illuminate injustice where it might not have been noted by many.

    But this ain't one of them.

    With its selective presentation of the facts (did you learn the forbidden lover is only 15 years old from the diary?)  and ready assumptions of gay bias (the only crime is for  "falling in love with another girl")  it is well designed to generate signatures and outrage with little thought interfering in the process.

    There are more and more diaries like this.  More and more petitions from change.org and others that swell my inbox.   When I bother to check out the facts, I find many are inaccurate or highly misleading.  I recently contacted change.org about one and was told the petitions were all user initiated--the group doesn't really do any fact checking--yet they use their network to reach tens of millions of potential supporters.  (And not just for signatures--donations to help stop these "outrages" are most definitely encouraged).

    It's enough to make me want to start a petition.

    •  Let's face it (0+ / 0-)

      The male pattern baldness crowd here at DKos just isn't going where progressives are going. DKos didn't like Occupy. DKos likes gays and women and kids who know their place, and wants trans people to wear scarlet T's on their foreheads to warn het males not to bed them.

      You won't like the world your kids will create. You will scream at clouds and bemoan the loss of morals and the disrespect for family values and -- above all -- the disrespect for the supreme importance of men such as yourselves.

      •  OK, this is clearly an issue that is near and dear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vayle, gunnarthor

        to you, but you are going too far with your accusations and assumptions about other people.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:39:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tit for tat (0+ / 0-)

          I give them the same consideration they give Kaitlyn -- and me.

          •  No you insult and lash out where others have tried (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gunnarthor, Be Skeptical

            to discuss the legal issue of age of consent.

            Just because you muddy the waters with feelings, gender, or sexual orientation does not change the fact that you're the one inserting your opinion as fact into all of this.

            But then, you've made it obvious you refuse to deal with actual 'facts'. You've reserved the right to have your own facts where this discussion is concerned and it's pointless to argue it further with you, but then, you've shown that you expect special consideration with the further expectation that it be viewed by everyone as 'equal'.

            -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

            by Vayle on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:56:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Spoken like a man in firm possession (0+ / 0-)

              of the terms of discourse. Het/cis privilege -- coupled with the logic chopping of lawyers.

              The facts -- supported by statistics -- are that girls don't rape girls, and boys do rape girls. There is no presumption of rape in the love of these two girls for each other. But lowering the AoC for boys would probably cause more date rape.

              So there is no parallel, and the masculist attempt to recast the love of two girls into a "gender neutral" frame is a bogus as masculist attempts to recast rape into a "gender neutral" frame. Male violence is real. The statistics show it to be real.

              But there is no reason for the violence of males to restrict the love of these two girls... except that, well, male violence and ego wants to deny them happiness. Because it can. And because they should belong to men.

      •  Face it. I have better hair than you. (0+ / 0-)

        So does my dog.  Get over it.

        Don't be a hater just because you need to wear a wig.  

  •  And now a word from a reality-based source (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vayle

    Here is a link to an interview with the parents, the Smith family. After seeing this, you may have a different opinion on this matter.

    http://cbs12.com/...

    Also, this is a compendium of the facts known thus far.
    http://supporthonesty.net

    I can see by the dates of the posts that the KOS community may have exceeded its own attention span.

    Why is that?

    “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

    by frenchy339 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:26:39 AM PDT

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