Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mississippi prom canceled rather than allowing gay couple to attend

When young people gather, one of the hardest things to do is to be yourself. A young girl in Mississippi, Constance McMillen, was trying to do that: she wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom. In response, the school board has decided to cancel the entire event. Yes, they CANCELED THE PROM!

My first reaction is, Wow, I bet that makes ALL the kids angry! I would sure hate it if the event I'd anticipated and planned for went up in smoke. Next I realized how mad everyone would be at Constance! Oh, My, Gosh! What a mess!

The statement from the board says they had to cancel the prom "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events." I'm sure that if this couple goes to the same school, most of the students are already aware that they are together, and the board should probably cancel classes! I mean, you can't learn when there are gay people in your midst.

Aside from the fact that Constance and HER date are being denied one of the biggest nights of high school social life, this school board is acting in fear of something they don't understand. Although it's not stated, and yes, I'm assuming a lot about Mississipians, I'm sure they have their religious ducks in a row. And if they wanted to make sure no one "sins," then they wouldn't even let those hot youngsters LOOK at each other, much less DATE! After all, modern dating is NOT in the Bible!

Most of the time, reactions like this school board are from fear. They don't understand, nor do they want to. It's probable that local constituents are pressuring board members, and maybe they don't want to lose the next election if they allow gay couples. Yes, that could happen.

Maybe some think that the lesbian couple will expose other students to being gay, and are afraid other kids will "turn gay." Note to the board: It doesn't work like that.

This is not the first time that a big deal erupted when a student wanted to bring their same-sex date to a prom. As long as administrators won't open their eyes to human sexuality and it's many variations, and until there is acceptance for same-sex couples, there will continue to be confrontations, cancellations, and upset students who want to have their proms (and all kinds of other social events where equality is denied).

I wish I could be there to encourage Constance. I'd give her a great big hug, and encourage her. She's taking a lot of heat just for being herself.

Kudos to you, Constance!


roddma said...

The issue was over dress code no sexuality The media turned it into soemthing else. No where the rules stated lesbians gay couldnt attendt the prom. If the school breaks rules for one student they have to break them for eveyrone else. Why not go stag and dress everyone else if you want equality. Im glad the school stood its ground.

deb said...

A few days ago, I sent the news article to the one person I know (online) in MS. No reply.

I've lost contact with the other person I knew from there, but I'm pretty sure she would have been supportive of the girls. She was straight and married. She was also open-minded, as far as I knew, and would not have shut down a prom to try to keep students from 'sinning'.

I'm really surprised no one in that town has stepped up to offer the students a place to have their prom. I probably should not be surprised.

I think I read that a hotel owner in New Orleans offered to bus the students to his hotel in New Orleans for their prom. That would make the night way cooler than any local prom could ever be.

Carol said...

Roddma, Do you really think the rules were not made to inhibit glbt students? Dress codes are definitely outdated, and it seems pretty obvious that the board wanted to limit glbt students from attending with same-sex dates.

Mary Kay said...

I have read deep into articles regarding this situation. The only thing that was ever mentioned ...about a dress code was a tuxedo that this young girl was going to wear. Wow...have you seen these sleezy dresses today? I would rather have my "straight" daughter wear a tuxedo to prom than these sleezy dresses that barely cover her body that is the trend for young girls today.

Roddma: it boils down to the sexual preference of these two girls.

Right from the Huffington Post:
The Itawamba County school district's policy requires that senior prom dates be of the opposite sex. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi had given the district until Wednesday to change that policy and allow 18-year-old Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend, who is also a student, to the dance on April 2.

Instead, the school board met and issued a statement announcing it wouldn't host the event at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events."

The statement didn't mention McMillen or the ACLU. When asked by The Associated Press if McMillen's demand led to the cancellation, school board attorney Michele Floyd said she could only reference the statement.

"It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors," district officials said in the statement. "However, at this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students."

The ACLU said a school policy banning same-sex prom dates violated McMillen's constitutional rights.

Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said the district was trying to avoid the issue.

"But that doesn't take away their legal obligations to treat all the students fairly," Bennett said. "On Constance's behalf, this is unfair to her. All she's trying to do is assert her rights."

So this article is stating very clear they do not want Lesbians at their prom and it is a violation of Constance and her friend's Civil Right's. Face it they are people too and they live under the same law of the land as "straight" people do.

What really appalled me was that the school was afraid of safety and well being of their students! What are these girls going to do go there for the purpose to beat up other students. I really don't think so!

I know this is long but I have a story share about a Lesbian friend. I have many friends in the gay and Lesbian community.
My mother has a client that is a OB-GYN that is a lesbian. She has a life partner and they have adopted 2 children (who are normal children). She then became my mother and mine's doctor. She is an excellent doctor and even treated my mother for cancer. Excellent doctor!! She became our friend my oldest daughter loves horses and she gave my daughter a horse and it was not a cheap horse. This same little girl with the horse ended up getting pregnant at 17. Her dad's insurance dropped her because she was about to turn 18 and she was not going to be able to start college. We made too much money for her to get government help. This doctor (again...who is a lesbian) took my daughter under her wing and wrote off everything!! We did not pay one cent for the birth of my grandson! Tell me was that an "Evil Lesbian that is a threat to society?"...or is that someone with a heart of gold Blessing us with God's Love?"