Teenager Charged with Felony and Expelled for Same-Sex Relationship
An 18 year old high school senior in Florida was charged with a felony and expelled from her school for a consensual same-sex relationship with a 15 year old classmate.
Kaitlin Hunt was arrested in February and charged with "lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16" after the parents of her partner filed charges against Hunt. According to Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith, "These people never came to us as parents, never tried to speak to us... and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating...They were out to destroy my daughter. [They] feel like my daughter 'made' their daughter gay."
Hunt and her partner were both on the Sebastian River High School basketball team and in some classes together. Hunt-Smith maintains that the two had completely consensual relationship. According to the Free Kate Facebook page, "Kaitlyn's girlfriend denies that Kaitlyn ever pressured her and is adamant that their relationship is entirely consensual, but her parents are out to destroy Kaitlyn's life." When the basketball coach found out the two were dating, Hunt was kicked off the basketball team and the coach notified the other girl's parents, who pressed charges. Hunt was able to remain at Sebastian despite repeated efforts by her partner's parents to have her expelled. When they petitioned the school board, Hunt was expelled from school despite two judges and the school's administration denying their previous requests.
The State Attorney, Brian Workman, has offered Hunt a plea deal. If she accepts, she will face two years house arrest and one year probation. If she does not accept, she could go trial and if found guilty become a registered sex offender. She must decide whether or not to accept the offer by Friday. Her family has also created a petition on change.org that received so much traffic it crashed the site.
Media Resources: CBS News 5/20/2013; Huffington Post 5/19/2013; WPTV 5/19/2013; ThinkProgress 5/18/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .