High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existence

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High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existence

Postby superdounutman14 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:40 pm UTC

JACKSON, Miss. - An 18-year-old Mississippi lesbian student whose school district canceled her senior prom rather than allow her to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo said she got some unfriendly looks from classmates when she reluctantly returned to campus Thursday.

Constance McMillen said she didn't want to go back the day after the Itawamba County school board's decision, but her father told her she needed to face her classmates, teachers and school officials.

"My daddy told me that I needed to show them that I'm still proud of who I am," McMillen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "The fact that this will help people later on, that's what's helping me to go on."
The district announced Wednesday it wouldn't host the April 2 prom. The decision came after the American Civil Liberties Union told officials a policy banning same-sex prom dates violated students' rights. The ACLU said the district not letting McMillen wear a tuxedo violated her free expression rights.

‘Thanks for ruining my senior year’
McMillen said she felt some hostility toward her on the Itawamba County Agricultural High School campus.

"Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year.'" McMillen said.

The school board issued a statement announcing it wouldn't host the event 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 AP if McMillen's demand led to the cancellation, school board attorney Michele Floyd said she could only reference the statement.

"I guess they would rather do that than what's right, what's constitutionally correct," McMillen said.

Same-sex prom dates and cross-dressing are new issues for many high schools around the country, said Daryl Presgraves, a spokesman for GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a Washington-based advocacy group.

"A lot of schools actually react rather than do the research and find out what the rights of these students are," said Presgraves, who was preparing to facilitate a discussion about anti-gay bullying at a National Association of Secondary School Principals meeting.

The school district had said it hoped a privately sponsored prom could be held. McMillen said if that happens, she's sure she'll be excluded.

"It's a small town in Mississippi, and it's run by an older generation with money. Most of them are more conservative and they don't agree with it," she said.

‘I am a little bummed out’
Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said he supports the school district's decision and knew of no private efforts to host the prom.

"I think the community as a whole is probably in support of the school district," Walker said of the town of about 4,000.

Itawamba County is a rural area of about 23,000 people in north Mississippi near the Alabama state line. It's near Pontotoc County, Miss., where more than a decade ago school officials were sued in federal court over their practice of student-led intercom prayer and Bible classes.

A couple of students had different reactions to the decision.

Anna Watson, a 17-year-old junior at the high school, was looking forward to the prom, especially since the town's only hotspot is the bowling alley, she said.

"I am a little bummed out about it. I guess it's a decision that had to be made. Either way someone was going to get disappointed — either Constance was or we were," Watson said. "I don't agree with homosexuality, but I can't change what another person thinks or does."

McKenzie Chaney, 16, said she wasn't planning to attend the prom, but "it's kind of ridiculous that they can't let her wear the tuxedo and it all be over with."

A Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a date to the prom, and one requirement was that the person must be of the opposite sex.

Presgraves said his organization hears about school districts that prohibit same-sex prom dates and gay-straight alliance clubs at schools. He said those kind of policies are detrimental to gay students.

"It sends a message that these students shouldn't be treated the same," Presgraves said.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35814348/ns/us_news-education/?GT1=43001

This reads like something straight out of the Onion. Mississippi FTW!
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby natraj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

Erk, that is so obnoxious. I thought my high school was bad enough; they introduced a rule against bringing same-sex dates to prom but only the one year that I was attending prom, and no others (it was a single-sex school, and normally tons of people brought same-sex "dates" in the form of friends who used to go to school but left and wanted to come back and hang out. But since I would've brought a "date" that was a real date, they introduced for one year only the rule that that wasn't allowed.)

But this is even worse.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:50 pm UTC

Man, not for nothing, but I am so fucking sick of people saying "I don't agree with homosexuality."
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Not A Raptor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:54 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Man, not for nothing, but I am so fucking sick of people saying "I don't agree with homosexuality."

Yeah, what in every possible conception of hell is there to agree with? "They exist"? Perhaps they should've said "I don't agree with [insert human rights law or "be kind to (your neighbors)/(all people)/(oppressed people in particular)" religious passage]"
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Gears » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:12 am UTC

Even in an extremely conservative state like mine (Montana) we allow same sex prom dates. Hell we even let whatever you'd call 3 dates going together (Polygymy?)
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Jorpho » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:17 am UTC

Is there something bad about women wearing tuxedos now?

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:22 am UTC

It's probably that tuxedos aren't exactly kitchenwear.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby EmilyR » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:34 am UTC

I wore a tux when I was best girl at Ali & Michael's wedding. I looked *damn*good* in it :)

I'm sometimes really quite scared by some of the attitudes/beliefs that are the norm among a very substantial portion of the population (~40% believe homosexuality should be illegal) of the most advanced & most powerful country in the world :(

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby 22/7 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:39 am UTC

I'm always amazed at how often I'm amazed by these types of stories. Kind of makes you wonder if this kind of behavior will ever be condemned by the vast majority in this country (think 90+%).
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:49 am UTC

22/7 wrote:I'm always amazed at how often I'm amazed by these types of stories. Kind of makes you wonder if this kind of behavior will ever be condemned by the vast majority in this country (think 90+%).

I'm disappointed but no longer surprised or amazed by them, which is sad. I'm hopeful that we'll see majority acceptance in my lifetime, but 90%+? Have we even hit that with racism yet?
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:55 am UTC

I've been watching this story unfold on the AP story feed all afternoon. ACLU is now suing the school district to force it to have a prom and allow same sex dates and the girl to wear a tuxedo.

I love how the school's reaction to the ACLU telling it that it was violating students' rights was to cancel the prom. Better no prom than a prom with those gay sinners attending it!
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Arete » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:56 am UTC

I'm surprised at just how much the USA has in common with fundamentalist Jewish / Islamic countries.

Oh, wait. No, I'm not.

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Mokele » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:57 am UTC

This is the same state that didn't have racially integrated proms until 2008 http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/21/mississippi.prom/index.html

Maybe they should revoke the voting rights of anyone whose mother and sister are the same person.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:39 am UTC

The discrimination is bad enough. However, I'm glad they chose to cancel prom altogether rather than ban a specific couple.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Hawknc » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:09 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:The discrimination is bad enough. However, I'm glad they chose to cancel prom altogether rather than ban a specific couple.

Yep, it's fantastic that instead of banning two people from prom and potentially making martyrs of them, they're cancelling it entirely and causing all the attendees to direct their anger towards the victims of the discrimination. That's not despicable at all.

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:42 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:The discrimination is bad enough. However, I'm glad they chose to cancel prom altogether rather than ban a specific couple.

No, the reason why this is bad is because: they already tried to ban the specific couple. Then ACLU told them they were violating the students' rights. Then they cancelled prom.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Lucrece » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:55 am UTC

Technically, they didn't cancel it.

They're encouraging private citizens to hold the prom (parents at the school). It'd be essentially the same thing, but since it's parents and not the school officially hosting it, they would be a private party and be allowed to bar the lesbian couple.

They're achieving retaliation by circumventing responsibility for discriminating themselves (they let the parents do it instead), and they're singling out the lesbian couple as "the whiny bitches that got our prom cancelled" so that the student body will go on a pitch and fork mode on the couple that has caused the school hardship.

To be honest, public schools are as much social perpetrators of oppression and unhealthy attitudes as any church. I saw this in my school as well, where the spiteful pondscum board indirectly establishes an environment of vulnerability for gay people.

I can only imagine how much worse this would be if it were a male couple.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:58 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Is there something bad about women wearing tuxedos now?


Yeah, Tuxedos are so boring, It's all about the women in Tophats & Tailcoats now!
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby General_Norris » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:54 am UTC

Gears wrote:Even in an extremely conservative state like mine (Montana) we allow same sex prom dates. Hell we even let whatever you'd call 3 dates going together (Polygymy?)


It's polyamory. Polygamy is multiple marriage. And yes, I don't like the word "polyamory" either, it sounds pretty badly but well I don't choose what a word means. Were it for me Polyamory would be called "Awesomedating".

@Lucrece

Exactly as it was done in South Africa. Meh it's a sad thing...

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

Gears wrote:Even in an extremely conservative state like mine (Montana) we allow same sex prom dates. Hell we even let whatever you'd call 3 dates going together (Polygymy?)


I don't even go to one gym... (sorry.)

This is also a royal dick move on the school's part. I hope for the students' sake that they can organize a good event on their own.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Texas_Ben » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:58 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote: I hope for the students' sake that they can organize a good event on their own.

Any event organized independantly would definitely exclude gay students. That's why they were encouraging a private prom.

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby joek » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote:
Gears wrote:Even in an extremely conservative state like mine (Montana) we allow same sex prom dates. Hell we even let whatever you'd call 3 dates going together (Polygymy?)


I don't even go to one gym... (sorry.)


Multiple Nudity?

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:29 pm UTC

"For the safety of the students"? Are lesbians like matter and antimatter?

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:35 pm UTC

You mean do they explode if they come together?
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Dauric » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Matter and antimatter lesbians...

For all it's potential I can only think that would be a very disappointing sci-fi porno.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Gellert1984 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

Well the climax would be pretty explosive if nothing else. (sorry)

I hate seeing news like this, frickin backwards ass hate-mongering people.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:54 pm UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
Arancaytar wrote: I hope for the students' sake that they can organize a good event on their own.

Any event organized independantly would definitely exclude gay students.


Ugh. Sometimes I'm just too optimistic.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:16 pm UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
Arancaytar wrote: I hope for the students' sake that they can organize a good event on their own.

Any event organized independantly would definitely exclude gay students. That's why they were encouraging a private prom.

You know, we, the internetz, could round up support and throw a pretty kickass party. And ensure that all the students who have been wrongly deprived of their prom by a shortsighted administration are invited.

That interracial prom linked above only happened because someone else volunteered to foot the bill.

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Asylumer » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:"For the safety of the students"? Are lesbians like matter and antimatter?


They're probably afraid the kids might start tolerating homosexuality, which would (in their minds) put teenage souls in jeopardy. In crazy-land this is a valid safety concern.


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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

Speaking of "safety of the students", I came across this blog post:
Goldy of HorsesAss.org wrote:Hey Itawamba County School Board… way to assure that this kid gets the shit beaten out of her by her fellow students:
A Mississippi county school board announced Wednesday it would cancel its upcoming prom after a gay student petitioned to bring a same-sex date to the event. [...] The announcement alarmed [18-year-old senior, Constance] McMillen.

“Oh, my God. That’s really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,” she said. “A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this.“
Ya think? And you think the vindictive pricks on the school board didn’t realize this when they canceled the prom in response to her request? I imagine it’s hard enough being openly gay in rural Mississippi, but now the local school board has publicly branded her as the dyke bitch who ruined prom.

I guess the real message to students is, “Shut the hell up and stay in the closet, or else the figurative gay bashing may become a literal one.”

So, pretty much what Hawk and Lucrece already said. I wonder if there's any way they could still bring some kind of discrimination suit. I'm sure the ACLU is looking into it.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby JBJ » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:15 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Speaking of "safety of the students", I came across this blog post:
Goldy of HorsesAss.org wrote:Hey Itawamba County School Board… way to assure that this kid gets the shit beaten out of her by her fellow students:
A Mississippi county school board announced Wednesday it would cancel its upcoming prom after a gay student petitioned to bring a same-sex date to the event. [...] The announcement alarmed [18-year-old senior, Constance] McMillen.

“Oh, my God. That’s really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,” she said. “A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this.“
Ya think? And you think the vindictive pricks on the school board didn’t realize this when they canceled the prom in response to her request? I imagine it’s hard enough being openly gay in rural Mississippi, but now the local school board has publicly branded her as the dyke bitch who ruined prom.

I guess the real message to students is, “Shut the hell up and stay in the closet, or else the figurative gay bashing may become a literal one.”

So, pretty much what Hawk and Lucrece already said. I wonder if there's any way they could still bring some kind of discrimination suit. I'm sure the ACLU is looking into it.

How about a criminal reckless endangerment charge?
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:29 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:So, pretty much what Hawk and Lucrece already said. I wonder if there's any way they could still bring some kind of discrimination suit. I'm sure the ACLU is looking into it.

The ACLU is doing more then looking into it: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/201 ... ippi_N.htm

Also in that article - a New Orleans hotel owner is offering to bus everyone to the city and throw them a prom there, at no expense, due to his disappointment in the school board.

Hooray for people with sense in a position to do something with it!
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Dauric » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

Jennifer Chamblee, a resident in nearby Guntown, sided with the school board.

"What about the rights of the other students that do not share her lifestyle or the way that she wants to live it?" she said.


Shit like this always strikes me as preposterous, I mean apparently the existence of one lesbian couple is going to summon the Gay Relationship Enforcement Squads, they'll rappel down the side of the building the prom is in, burst in through the windows and re-arrange everyone to be with a same sex partner.

But then it occurs to me: They're doing (not-quite-exactly) this to maintain the status quo, it's the way that they think. There is no "Live and let live", it's all homogeneity for everyone, and everyone has to be doing everything the same.

What a dull little world they live in.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby MrPablo » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

Jennifer Chamblee, a resident in nearby Guntown, sided with the school board.

"What about the rights of the other students that do not share her lifestyle or the way that she wants to live it?" she said.


Ugh, this is indeed preposterous. People seem to think that being gay is a choice. The only choice here is whether you want the rest of your life to be a lie full of misery or whether you want to live it as what you are. Rights of other students who don't share her lifestyle? Yeah, what about the rights of people who don't like black people because they dislike how they look kissing? They are never considered! Something should be done about that!

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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

MrPablo wrote:Ugh, this is indeed preposterous. People seem to think that being gay is a choice. The only choice here is whether you want the rest of your life to be a lie full of misery or whether you want to live it as what you are. Rights of other students who don't share her lifestyle? Yeah, what about the rights of people who don't like black people because they dislike how they look kissing? They are never considered! Something should be done about that!
Mokele wrote:This is the same state that didn't have racially integrated proms until 2008 http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/21/mississippi.prom/index.html

Maybe they should revoke the voting rights of anyone whose mother and sister are the same person.
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Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby MrPablo » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:19 pm UTC

...Wow, and here I was thinking I was stating a grossly exaggerated example. Sorry about missing that post, by the way. But, wow, 2008? Truly baffling.

Robstickle
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:07 am UTC

Re: High School cancels Prom due to same-sex couple's existe

Postby Robstickle » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:57 pm UTC

"I am a little bummed out about it. I guess it's a decision that had to be made. Either way someone was going to get disappointed— either Constance was or we were," Watson said. "I don't agree with homosexuality, but I can't change what another person thinks or does."


Sometimes I think stupidity should be a crime.


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