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View Diary: Florida teen brought up on CRIMINAL charges for same-sex relationship (238 comments)

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  •  I was starting to thing about this. (11+ / 0-)

    Are there arguments that these laws shouldn't apply to same-sex female relationships because the potential harms (pregnancy, STDs) are less than they would be if the older participant is male? Or do we just say "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"?

    •  I like the way you think! :) (0+ / 0-)

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:23:04 PM PDT

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    •  And this isn't (8+ / 0-)

      a legal question but what are we doing as a society if we insist on the one hand that 14-15 can't consent because they don't have the necessary level of maturity and at the same they're bombarded with the unrelenting sexual content of music videos which function as advertisements for a certain kind of sexuality? What are we doing, other than trying to make teenagers insane?

      •  Bombarding is 1st Amendment Protected Activity (0+ / 0-)

        for the most part.

        If that's a problem, the solution is at least as drastic as switching to a parliamentary system of government.

        I'm not necessarily denying that such a thing is necessary for the US by the way. Our 1st Amendment could take down planetary civilization given the issues and deadlines we're facing right now.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:35:52 PM PDT

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    •  I could argue those arguments. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee

      Kaitlyn's defense probably could use them. Teen pregnancy is a huge problem, life-changing, blah-blah. BUT I imagine that the parents' lawyer would hammer the maturity aspect. With some coerciveness thrown in because of the age difference. And injurious because...the gf has been outed as gay, and the parents' homophobic friends probably think it is THEIR fault, somehow. Meh.

      What WOULDN'T come up, most likely, is the parents' narrow-minded bigotry and homophobia. Or their lack of unconditional love and acceptance for their daughter, or her freedom to be who she is.

      I'm not a lawyer. But I do enjoy a good intellectual argument =)

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:27:44 PM PDT

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    •  What About Different Gender Related Abilities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      to coerce or impose on potential partners?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:34:15 PM PDT

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      •  Beyond physical strength, what else? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace, commonmass, JesseCW

        Would it matter to you if the older student was a senior on a sports team, and the younger one was a freshman/sophomore?

      •  With total respect, can we stop pretending (8+ / 0-)

        that teen agers stop at red lights and that every teenager under the age of consent that has sex is a victim? I CONSENTED (not legally, of course) to gay sex when I was 15 and I have never looked back. Should I be looking for my legal recourse now? I'd do it again, and I suspect both of these young ladies would as well.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:42:17 PM PDT

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        •  I think ^ this ^ is a very impt. point (6+ / 0-)

          Nearly everybody fools around in high school, right? Have we forgotten what it was like to be a teenager? Hormones dialed high, desires raging? I dunno, from some of the comments in this diary, I'm starting to wonder if some of us don't have really poor memories.

          When I was a senior in a California public high school (1982), finding couples (straight--I grant you) who were "going steady" was hardly unusual, and it was safe to assume this meant at least some kind of experimentation was going on (and intercourse was not unlikely). But, offsetting the potential hazards involved with that, everyone was required take serious, biology-based sex ed classes, which was tremendously eye-opening and helpful to the sexually active members of the student body (it was to me). And people used condoms, lots and lots of condoms. No doubt there were some unwanted pregnancies (unfortunate but perhaps statistically unavoidable), but I don't remember any hyper-concern about the ages of dating partners, provided they were students at the same high school. And nobody was calling the cops about it. I mean, let's get real. We're talking about teenagers dating--and doing what they do when they do that. It's a fact of life. When I was in high school, parents and teachers pretty much seemed to accept the reality on that score. But times have changed.    

          Today you can't turn around without seeing ads with provocatively posed or half naked young people in them, but apparently that's okay; people don't seem to flip out too much over that. But heaven forfend if the young folks who make up those ads' target audiences take a cue from what they see on TV and YouTube or wherever and, you know, get a little sexy with each other themselves. Because then we want to jail them, put them on lists and call them sex predators. Honestly, what in the world is up with this practice? It's hurtful and unnecessary and unforgivably cruel, and IMHO it's far more abusive than anything teen couples might be doing with each other behind closed doors. The laws are outmoded and unfair, full stop, and the potential punishment in these cases (such as the case detailed in this diary: obviously I'm not talking about statutory rape) are draconian and do not fit the ostensible crimes. Does anybody think that they do? Do we really want to criminalize teen sexuality now?

          I guess some folks do. I say it's madness. These are bad and dangerous laws, and they needed to be overhauled yesterday, especially as more and more LGBT kids come up & come out. Good grief, they have enough scary emotional and psychological hurdles to leap (and judgmental idiots to cope with) at too-tender ages as it is.

          It never ceases to astonish me how insane we still are about sexuality nearly a decade and a half into the 21 century--particularly about expressions of sexuality among minors and youth. And make no mistake--these badly written, life-destroying laws and soul-crushing punishments regarding age of consent among high school kids (of any orientation) and this new rage for blindly enforcing the law when history, biology and psychology, not to mention anything resembling nuance or proportion, as in this case, count for nothing--absolutely reflects and confirms how crazy we are. What, are we spoiling for a second Victorian Age? But, but - I thought we just got done untwisting ourselves to some extent about out poor benighted dangly bits?
             

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:31:53 AM PDT

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    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, mrsgoo

      as I vividly remember from studying for the NY bar - at the time in NY the law only applied if the female was the younger party.

      The central idea here is that the younger party is capable of being misled/coerced.  The argument that this is somehow different for homosexual relationships would strike me as a weak one.

    •  Nope. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, labradog
      Are there arguments that these laws shouldn't apply to same-sex female relationships because the potential harms (pregnancy, STDs) are less than they would be if the older participant is male?
      Really?  You WANT to argue that same-sex female relationships should be considered differently?  Are you kidding?

      I'm just an old straight white guy, but it seems to me that the LGBT community has been fighting off the "you want special privileges" attacks from the beginning - arguing to ADD a special case would legitimize those very attacks.  That doesn't seem very smart to me.  Equality means exactly that - equal treatment.

      Or do we just say "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"?
      I can't go with that one, either.   Age of consent exists for several reasons, one of which is an acknowledgment of parental rights.  I don't think there's a solid argument for emancipating minors on this particular point...

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:04:41 PM PDT

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      •  that means you actually agree on #2. (0+ / 0-)

        And, yeah, I recognize the equality objection on #1, which is why I asked it.

        •  Hmm...not how I read #2. (0+ / 0-)
          "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"
          It's the "may not" and "available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious" that bother me.

          I don't like the idea of adjuticating whether a particular 18-and-14 (or 18-and-15, or whatever) relationship is 'coervice or injurious,' simply because you're really asking a prosecutor/judge/jury to make a three-way judgment call - one on each participant AND one on the relationship itself.

          It may unpopular for me to say so, but I'd rather see a simple across-the-board rule than see that can of worms opened.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Are STDs more harmful to heteros? (0+ / 0-)

      And, is pregnancy the only danger of underage sexual activity?

      I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

      by labradog on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:19:16 AM PDT

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