From the time he was 9, he sensed he didn't fit in. At that young age, he'd asked his mother what a kid in his town meant by calling him gay. She told him not to use that "horrible" word, and that gay people are "bad." They "go to hell," she said, urging him "to pray for them, but never go near them."
The girls seek damages from Backpage.com -- believed to sell the most online prostitution ads involving children in the country -- for creating an illegal online marketplace and policing it in bad faith. After Backpage.com published their pictures and sales pitches about them, the girls, ages 13 and 15, were repeatedly raped by customers.
The bill, known as the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, declares that 16- and 17-year-olds who are arrested for prostitution are victims in need of services, not criminals. Right now only youth through age 15 get that protection. Hitting your Sweet 16 birthday shouldn't mean that you no longer need justice.