In what seems to be the latest in a disturbing trend of anti-gay sentiment directed against kids and teens, a 18-year-old Florida high school student named Kaitlyn Hunt has been expelled and faces criminal charges for having a consensual relationship with another student of the same sex.

According to Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith, the teen was arrested after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges. Hunt now faces two felony counts of "lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16."

Hunt-Smith believes the parents are anti-gay. "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," she said. "They were out to destroy my daughter. [They] feel like my daughter 'made' their daughter gay."

As a result, police arrested Hunt at her home on Feb. 18 and led her away in handcuffs. Hunt was also kicked out of Sebastian River High School after her girlfriend's parents successfully petitioned the school board for her removal.

Fortunately, Hunt was able to finish her senior year at another school and will be allowed to graduate from Sebastian River, but the incident is far from behind her.

The state attorney's office offered Hunt a plea deal which includes two years of house arrest and a year of probation, but she'll have a permanent record as a result, which could impact her choice of career.

Hunt isn't without supporters, however. A Change.org petition to drop the charges has amassed more than 50,000 signatures so far and a Facebook group called "Free Kate" has almost 20,000 members to date.

What do you think? Is Hunt being unfairly persecuted?