In the US, states are slowly getting on board with the concept that society will not collapse if the restrictions on same sex marriage are lifted. These restrictions are based almost entirely on religion and the US is very slow to take steps that might endanger their intertwining of religion and politics. Even with these small steps in rights, there are still many prejudices among the majority.
There are two cases that have recently come to my attention. The first from Texas cites a case where a women was banned from having her same sex partner live in the same house due to a restriction in her divorce settlement.
A judge has ruled that a North Texas lesbian couple can’t live together because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers.
The clause is common in divorce cases in Texas and other states. It prevents a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while children are in the home. If the couple marries, they can get out from under the legal provision — but that is not an option for gay couples in Texas, where such marriages aren’t recognized.
The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/16MlSUQ ) reported that in a divorce hearing last month for Carolyn and Joshua Compton, Collin County District Judge John Roach Jr. enforced the terms detailed in their 2011 divorce papers. He ordered Carolyn Compton’s partner, Page Price, to move out of the home they shared with the Comptons’ two daughters, ages 10 and 13. The judge gave Price 30 days to find another place to live.
Paul Key said his client, Joshua Compton, wanted the clause enforced for his kids’ benefit.
In other words, Joshua Compton is a bigot and used a bigoted judge to interfere with his ex-wife’s life.
The second, from Florida, has even greater, potentially life ruining, implications for the young woman involved.
An 18-year-old girl is facing felony charges in the US that she had sexual contact with her underage, 14-year-old girlfriend, leading gay rights advocates to say the teen is being unfairly targeted for a common high school romance because she’s gay.
The criminal case against Kaitlyn Hunt in Miami is unusual because it involves two females, not an older male and a younger female.
Laws to protect young people from predators are necessary, but relationships between peers in the same school on the same sports team do not qualify as abuse. From everything I have read, this seems to be an overzealous prosecutor with an anti-gay bias. In cases involving young people of opposite genders, the usual legal recourse is a misdemeanour charge and perhaps a stay away order.For Ms Hunt, the charge is lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16, and the potential for being registered as a sex offender.
She has lost her position on the basket ball team and been expelled from school by the school board, even though a judge ruled she could stay until graduation.
The same group of anonymous Operation Justice hacktivists who worked to reopen the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, has begun a campaign to free Hunt. There are also Facebook and Change.org campaigns to offer support and aid, and her family has begun a Free Kate campaign as well as a donation site to help with legal costs.
These are just examples of the sort of hate gays and lesbians face on a daily basis in the US and many places around the world. The ones that make the news and get this type of national and international attention have a much better chance of a positive outcome. I am quite sure that there are many other cases that only make local news, if any news at all, where there is no outside support at all. The only thing we can do is to fight f0r the ones we know about and hope there is a carryover effect. I’m not holding my breath though.