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  1. #1
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    Default Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to the Prom!

    Mississippi School Cancels Prom Rather than Allow Same-Sex Couple to Attend

    March 11, 2010 12:00PM
    Michael Cole

    This post is from HRC Youth and Campus Outreach Associate Director Candace Gingrich-Jones:

    A high school in Mississippi has decided that they will cancel the prom entirely rather than allow a same-sex couple to attend. This isn’t an unusual occurrence, unfortunately – particularly in the south we have seen schools try to limit the visibility and participation of queer students. Most of the times the schools realize (read: are told to do the right thing) their error and make amends. Just last year the same situation arose at a high school in neighboring Alabama, when Cynthia Stewart wanted to bring her female date to the prom at Tharptown High. The ACLU again got involved, sent a demand letter and the school district reversed their earlier decision.

    But not at Itawamba Agricultural High School. Senior Constance McMillian had asked for permission to attend the prom with a female sophomore classmate as her date. She was also told that she could not wear a tuxedo because she is a girl. The high school responded by telling her she could not arrive with her same-sex date to the prom and if she did and they danced together they would be thrown out. With her families support, McMillian contacted the ACLU aclu.org who sent the school district a demand letter [pdf], laying out the constitutional argument in support of the student. They also took it a step further and in the letter asked the Itawamba School District make it clear to all schools that it is “unlawful to censor peaceful and appropriate expressions by students of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and support for gay and transgender rights.”

    For those who have been following the D.C. Catholic Charities saga, the school’s reaction may not be surprising: cancel prom. In a move that I certainly hope will not become a trend, the school, like Catholic Charities, decided that if they had to include the homos then they wouldn’t allow anyone to participate. The school, similar to CC again, sent a letter to the school insinuating that it is McMillian’s fault that prom was cancelled “Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events, the Itawamba County School District has decided to not host a prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School this year.” That’s it – when the rubber hits the road find some way to blame the gays and everything will turn out fine.

    A decade ago we saw a similar situation when Salt Lake City’s East High School chose to cancel 46 non-curricular clubs just so they could avoid recognizing the gay-straight alliance at the school. This particular incident is seen by many to be the birth of the Gay-Straight Alliance boom across the country – thanks to Salt Lake City’s narrow-mindedness 10 years ago there are now 4000 Gay-Straight Alliances registered with GLSEN. It is unclear what repercussions there will be in Mississippi – the district has dismissed the issue saying “It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes anyone.” With a little luck, McMillian’s classmates may realize that discrimination against anyone inconveniences everyone, and a new movement will begin.

    Source: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/03/...ple-to-attend/

    Facebook support group: http://www.facebook.com/humanrightsc...6784817?ref=mf

    To make a donation to an alternate, inclusive prom: Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and click on the link.
    There's reason to be afraid, and reason to open your heart. ~ Seal

    Refreshment for your ears: www.kexp.org

  2. #2

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    This means that anyone who's single or goes with a friend will be considered a same sex couple? That sucks!

  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    We already know they're backwards down there, this isn't exactly news lol. I'm surprised they're forced to not discriminate at all, actually. There's probably a group lobbying to remove that regulation because it discriminates against the good christians, who may be horrified by seeing gays not discriminated against, you know.
    -end of thread-

  4. #4
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    I've read quite a few comments by people stating that she's ruined the fun for the other children and shouldn't be so selfish with suggestions that she should have withdrawn her desire to go to the prom a long time ago so the other children aren't inconvenienced and blah, blah, blah crap. Cause obviously her right to not be discriminated against is less important allowing the school to manipulate her with guilt and shame to take responsibility for their actions in cancelling the prom and ruining the fun of all the children.

    The inability for some 'adults' to put responsibility where it should be put is scary.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    I've read quite a few comments by people stating that she's ruined the fun for the other children and shouldn't be so selfish with suggestions that she should have withdrawn her desire to go to the prom a long time ago so the other children aren't inconvenienced and blah, blah, blah crap. Cause obviously her right to not be discriminated against is less important allowing the school to manipulate her with guilt and shame to take responsibility for their actions in cancelling the prom and ruining the fun of all the children.

    The inability for some 'adults' to put responsibility where it should be put is scary.
    Actually I think the converse is true, I wouldnt expect a traditional homosexual gathering to make allowances for heterosexual couples, this stinks of a political stunt and the school made the right call.

  6. #6
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Actually I think the converse is true, I wouldnt expect a traditional homosexual gathering to make allowances for heterosexual couples, this stinks of a political stunt and the school made the right call.
    What's a 'traditional homosexual gathering'? And in turn, why is a school prom considered a 'traditional heterosexual gathering'? Should gay students be segregated with a separate prom or simply not be allowed to attend?

  7. #7
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    What's a 'traditional homosexual gathering'? And in turn, why is a school prom considered a 'traditional heterosexual gathering'? Should gay students be segregated with a separate prom or simply not be allowed to attend?
    Government schools should not be allowed to discriminate against the various type of coupling. The article in question has it all wrong about D.C. Catholic Charities. They have every right not to offer employee spouse benefits in order not to provide them to same-sex couples. That is a religious organization.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    What's a 'traditional homosexual gathering'? And in turn, why is a school prom considered a 'traditional heterosexual gathering'? Should gay students be segregated with a separate prom or simply not be allowed to attend?
    Well in this instance it is, I'd say its at the discretion of the organisers and participants, I dont know whether gay students should be segregated but there's a point at which you have to draw a line when it comes to minority-majority relations. Simple as.

  9. #9
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well in this instance it is, I'd say its at the discretion of the organisers and participants, I dont know whether gay students should be segregated but there's a point at which you have to draw a line when it comes to minority-majority relations. Simple as.
    If it's an event organized by a public school, then they have no right to discriminate. Now, the students do NOT have a right to a school-organized prom, either, so the decision to cancel the prom (though personally offensive to me and horribly unfair to students) should not be overturned in court. I wholeheartedly support the efforts to have an alternate prom-type event that is inclusive, though. If your prom would be ruined by the sight of one same-sex couple with a girl in a tux, then your prom probably wouldn't be fun anyway. Frankly, if I were Constance, I wouldn't want to go to a party with so many bigots around, although I have a feeling the administration and parents care WAY more about this than the other students do. I also totally disagree with your attitude toward minority-majority relations. The United States is a rights-based society. Even if 999,999 people think one way, the 1 person who does not still deserves the same treatment.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #10
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Frankly, if I were Constance, I wouldn't want to go to a party with so many bigots around, although I have a feeling the administration and parents care WAY more about this than the other students do.
    I wonder if it was the gay part or just the fact that she wanted to wear a tux that made people so upset?

    I agree that it doesn't sound particularly enthralling to be the token gay couple at a lame school function, but she obviously should be offered the freedom to choose whether she might like to attend with her partner and not have someone else decide for her just because she's not a hetero.

    The parents should consider that their kids will probably be too busy having fun with their dates and/or friends to really care about the one lesbian couple there. It seems like this is more about image, rather than about the kids and their experience (especially since they cancelled the dance altogether!).

    Way to go, PTA and school administration! You show those gays (and , uh, hundred or so other kids) who's boss!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well in this instance it is, I'd say its at the discretion of the organisers and participants, I dont know whether gay students should be segregated but there's a point at which you have to draw a line when it comes to minority-majority relations. Simple as.
    Just because Constance was the only out homosexual to fight the school, doesn't mean she really literally is the only LGBT person at her school, or the only student who thinks the rules are unfair. I bet plenty of people in the school community have contentions with this action.

    But in places like the Bible Belt where being a homo (or homo lover!) is probable cause to be excluded, ridiculed, otherwise discriminated against, or even victimised, I can see why there was only one kid who stood up and spoke out. I sure as hell wouldn't want to be told I was going to hell, or needed therapy, or to get the hell out of town just for having a different lifestyle or opinion than the angry mob in my town.

    This kind of discrimination is counter to our quintessential American values and have no place in a public institution. Leave excluding gays to private institutions, or just leave it at home.

    It's a person's right to believe whatever they want, and see things however they want, but not to the exclusion of others in places like public schools. Period. Doesn't matter if there are 2 or 200 GLBT kids at the school, there is no reason to give certain students less rights than others.

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