A Florida teen's arrest and expulsion
from high school over a lesbian relationship was motivated by
anti-gay animus, parents claim.
According to an account posted on
by the teen's mom, Kate Hunt began dating a female student 3 years
younger than herself at the start of the year when she was 17.
Kelly Hunt Smith wrote that “it was a
mutual consenting relationship on both parts.”
In February, after Hunt turned 18, her
girlfriend's parents pressed charges against her. Police arrested
Hunt and charged her with the felony of “sexual battery on a person
12-16 years old.”
“The police came to our home and
arrested my daughter, put her in hand cuffs and we had no idea why.
They refused to tell us anything at first because she had turned 18.
Kate was ripped out of our arms, terrified, crying hysterically.
After officials at Sebastian River High
School refused to expel Hunt, the parents appealed to the school
board and had her expelled.
an online petition, Hunt's parents said they believed the parents
were acting out of anti-gay animus.
Florida's consent law is not hard and
fast. While the age of consent is 18, the law allows for close in
age exemptions, in some cases by as much as 7 years. For instance,
the law permits a person 23 years of age or younger to engage in
legal sexual activity with a minor aged 16 or 17.