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Not all gays support lesbian student arrested for underage sex

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Robby Soave
Reporter

A Florida gay group pushed back against the notion that the arrest of Kate Hunt, the 18-year-old lesbian charged with having sex with an underage female student, is a gay rights issue.

“We have not been able to find where the charges brought against this unfortunate young lady are inspired by homophobia, or are in any way anti-LGBTQ,” wrote David McKinnon, president of the Vero Beach, Florida chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, in a statement.

Hunt admitted to having a sexual relationship with her 14-year-old girlfriend. The two girls attended the same high school and were on the basketball team together. According to Hunt’s arrest affidavit, they performed oral sex and mutual masturbation on each other.

McKinnon noted that there was no question about whether Hunt broke the law, and that numerous heterosexuals have been arrested under similar circumstances.

“The cry of discrimination, unless more facts come out, does not seem to apply here,” he wrote.

Two members of an unnamed area gay advocacy group told local media they resigned their positions after they refused to take a pro-Hunt stance.

“I’m gay, and I don’t side with Kate,” said one activist, who spoke to local media anonymously due to his concerns that the Free Kate movement would retaliate against him and his partner.

Still, Hunt’s supporters appear to greatly outnumber her detractors. The Free Kate Facebook page has over 50,000 members. One supporter, Brad Filippone, wrote that he saw Hunt’s struggle as analogous to those of civil rights giant Rosa Parks.

“Maybe decades from now, Kaitlyn will be mentioned in the same breath as Rosa Parks,” he wrote on the group’s Facebook wall.

In media appearances and interviews, Hunt’s parents have touted her as a victim of anti-gay bigotry.

Some national groups that favor gay rights, including the American Civil Liberties Union have rallied behind Hunt.

“The ACLU of Florida condemns the prosecution of 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt,” said the ACLU in a press release. “The facts as we understand them suggest that the state is prosecuting Kaitlyn for engaging in behavior that is both fairly innocuous and extremely common.”

The press release noted that the ACLU was not involved in the case, however.

Hunt recently rejected a plea deal that would have required her to serve a year under house arrest in exchange for avoiding jail time. Now the case will likely go to trial sometime later this summer. If convicted, Hunt could spend up to 15 years in prison.

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