The story surrounding Kaitlyn Hunt – an 18-year-old American who finds herself facing prosecution over her ongoing relationship with her three-years-junior girlfriend – leaves much to get upset about. After all, what’s not controversial about the prospect of the teenager facing jail time for “lewd and lascivious bahevior” simply for having a girlfriend? Beyond that, however, authorities conducted controlled conversations between the two to use as evidence – an invasion of privacy that should upset even the most staunch homophobes.
No surprise, then, that Anonymous has become involved with the story. The non-group has previously sought those whose blackmail led a teen to suicide and unmasked teen bullies online, so the idea of them becoming involved in a situation where, again, a teen is being shamed for entirely normal behavior fits into their increasingly high profile as social crusaders. The difference in this case, however, is that this isn’t Anonymous versus bullies – it’s Anonymous versus the law.
“Greetings, Bigots,” starts the message released from Anonymous. “We are Operation Justice. The last operation our team conducted led to the case of Rehtaeh Parson’s being re-opened and to an independent investigation into the actions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. You may have read about us.”
Characterizing Kaitlyn as “a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors,” the Anonymous message poses a blunt question to the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office in relation to the case: “Who in your office didn’t have the balls or the intelligence to put an end to this ridiculousness?”
The group continued by citing their displeasure with the country’s intolerance. “There are quite a few organizations in this country that would prefer that our elected officials not hire bigots that hunt down and file erroneous charges against young women because of their sexual orientation,” they write. “The fact is, the puritanism you practice doesn’t have a place in this world any longer.”
Instead of a more direct (or, perhaps, destructive) threat, the Anonymous message simply suggests that a reconsideration of events may be in order, otherwise a petition calling for resignations may be forthcoming. For the bad reputation that Anonymous has gathered around itself over the years, seeing this kind of formal protest against injustice seems rather inspiring. We’ll still hold onto our hats for a possible attack if things don’t change though. It’s only natural.