Mar 11, 2010
joined My Stranger Face
Mar 11, 2010
commented on High School in Mississippi Cancels Prom to Prevent Lesbian Student from Bringing Female Date—and Potentially Incites Violence Against Lesbian Student
I hope the following gets through (I've gotten bounces from a few e-mail addresses):
Dear Superintendent McNeece, Principal Wiygul, and Itawamba School Board:
I read of the cancellation of the prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School in USA Today. I would like to express my displeasure to all of you, and to strongly encourage you to reverse this mean-spirited, shortsighted, bigoted, and hateful decision.
Having grown up in the south I have witnessed discrimination and hate towards the gay and lesbian population first hand, and have seen the effects of such bigotry on a close friends. However, the cancelation of prom because a lesbian student wanted to attend with her girlfriend is particularly egregious. Not only does it send the message to Ms. McMillen that she is not welcome at your school, it also sends a message to any other gay and lesbian students in your school district that they are not welcome, and may further harm the ability of such students to gain a sense of self-acceptance, which given the environment in the south, must be difficult already. Additionally, the fact that the board has encouraged the community to organize a private prom further points to the fact that prom was not cancelled out of concern for any disruption, but was rather cancelled out of spite, bigotry and hatred for Ms. McMillen and any other homosexual students. This further reenforces the message that your school board is sending that gays and lesbians are not welcome in your school or community, and that they are viewed by you and the community as second class citizens.
I'm glad that Ms. McMillen had the courage to go public with the outrageous way in which she was treated by your school board. I'm sure that in speaking out about your discrimination Ms. McMillen has created a far larger disruption to your school, and your community than would have otherwise occurred had you simply allowed Ms. McMillen to do what you allow everyone else in school to do, that is take their significant other on a date to prom.
We live in a society that's becoming more and more tolerant, and this tolerance extends to the gay and lesbian community. I hope you realize that you are not only on the losing side of this battle, but you are on the morally indefensible side. A book of superstitions that is thousands of years old does not reflect morality and what is permissible in an open, tolerant, and pluralistic society.
I sincerely hope that you reconsider your decision, or that if you don't the ACLU's suit forces you to do the right thing.