alexkaufmann: (Stanley Cup)
[personal profile] alexkaufmann
Let's try a little thought experiment:

Eighteen year old has sex with a fourteen year old girl.

Girl's parents complain, 18 year old is arrested and charged with statutory rape under Florida law.

Anyone have a problem with this (aside from the glaring need for a "Romeo and Juliet" law in Florida)?

Here's where things go sideways.

An online petition with tens of thousands of signatures demands no prosecution for the 18 year old and the ACLU has put in its two cents as well.

Why?

Because the 18 year old is named Kaitlyn and the relationship is a lesbian one.

Florida's statutory rape law makes no distinction on gender-- an 18 year old having sex with a 14 year old is guilty of statutory rape regardless of the gender of either party. The mind boggles at the mental gymnastics required to turn a gender-neutral prosecution of a state's statutory rape law into an anti-lesbian witch hunt.

But still, the professional victims are out in full force, demanding Kaitlyn's prosecution be dropped. How can someone claim to support equal protection under the law AND support special treatment for lesbians under the statutory rape law?

Here's a question that needs no answer: would there be tens of thousands of signatures and an ACLU intervention if Kaitlyn had been Keith?

The argument for dropping Kaitlyn's prosecution (lesbians deserve special treatment under the statutory rape laws) flies directly in the face of the argument for marriage equality (gays and lesbians deserve the same right to equal protection under the law).

As someone who supports marriage equality, the response to this case is troubling. With equal rights come equal responsibilities, and one of those legal responsibilities is not to have sex with a 14 year old if you're an 18 year old.

Kaitlyn broke the law and is being prosecuted; not as a lesbian but as an 18 year old who had sex with a 14 year old. Would those who signed the petition to drop the charges have signed if Kaitlyn had been Keith?

It's a hypocritical double-standard and it does gays and lesbians no favors. It is handing ammunition to the anti-gay bigots everywhere in the fight over marriage equality. Those opposed to marriage equality can point to this case and say "see... they don't want equal protection, they want special treatment."

And, unfortunately, in this case, they'd be right.

Date: 2013-05-25 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mallorys-camera.livejournal.com
I would be totally against this prosecution whether the alleged perp's name was Kaitlyn or Kevin, frankly. This "Protect the Children" witch hunt is burgeoning in some insanely fundamentalist directions.

Date: 2013-05-26 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nick-kaufmann.livejournal.com
I've been thinking the same thing about this case. Lesbian or hetero, you're not supposed to have sex with 14-year-olds.

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Alexander Kaufmann

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