Free Kate: maybe?
It wasn’t the story with the biggest impact. It didn’t really advance or repress LGBT rights and many readers argued that it shouldn’t be new at all. But that doesn’t change the fact that Katlyn Hunt’s arrest, visits to jail and eventual plea deal captivated the nation and sparked debate about statutory law. Hunt was in trouble for having sex with a 14-year-old schoolmate when she was 18. The younger girl’s parents turned Hunt in, and Hunt’s father alleged that their motivations were anti-gay. An initial plea deal was withdrawn when it turned out Hunt and the girl continued to contact each other after Hunt’s arrest. In the end, Hunt pleaded no contest to battery, interference with child custody and contributing to the dependency of a child. Her attorney stated that Hunt’s goal is to change the law so that teens attending the same school can’t be prosecuted for having sexual relationships, regardless of sexual orientation.
Statewide domestic partner registry fails
The Family First Bill survived about five months before it died in committee. The bill was filed in January by Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood), and cleared the Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs by a 5 to 4 vote on April 1. Before it died in the Judiciary Committee in May, it survived a rewrite, a key supporting Senator unable to vote because she was taken to the hospital (she’s ok), and a long, strange speech by notorious anti-gay pundit John Stemberger, who warned the bill would set a precedent for marriage equality and claimed that marriage rates fall in areas with domestic partner registries, but was unable to summon any proof when pressed on his claim. Maybe the idea will have better luck in 2014.
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