Friday, March 12, 2010

You Shan't Go To The Prom!

I've just seen a shocking story about how a school in Mississippi won't allow a lesbian student to attend the prom with her girlfriend, and they wouldn't let her wear a tuxedo either.

Here's the email that I sent to,
Dear Superintendent McNeece and Principal Wiygul,

I am writing to point out that lesbian and gay students have a right to bring a same-sex date to the prom and wear clothing congruent with their gender identity under the First Amendment, and the US Supreme Court has ruled that a policy or public entity that is based on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

Simply cancelling the prom seems like a disproportionate response to a simple request to bring a same-sex partner. Please reinstate the prom and allow Constance McMillen to bring her partner as her date, and wear a tuxedo if she wishes.

I am deeply dismayed by your discriminatory practice, and feel that it should be a matter of regret to you that your school is now infamous around the world for this bigoted, disproportionate and unjust response to a lesbian student and her partner.

Yours sincerely
I would encourage Stroppy Rabbit readers to write to the school on similar lines. You can get more information from the ACLU's letter on Constance's behalf (PDF).
Update: apparently the email addresses above are now closed (wonder why?)

The ACLU has produced an online resource for LGBT students who want to take their partners to the Prom.


Jarred said...

I spent a significant amount of time yesterday responding to comments posted to the two USA Today articles about this incident. I was reminded of just how ugly some people's attitudes and behaviors could be. I was shocked at the number of people who referred to Candace as a drama queen, attention whore, and a spoiled brat. Apparently, name-calling and derision is preferred over reasoned debate by some people.

In fact, the only arguments that did not revolve around ad hominem attacks were that (1)Candace should simply accept the rules for what they are despite their inherit unfairness and (2) the majority of people (allegedly) oppose homosexuality and any display of same-sex affection. Apparently, a significant number of people are willing to accept and even promote a tyranny of the majority as long as they are safely counted among the tyrannical majority -- or at least aren't part of the disaffected minority.

I grant you, not all of those who spoke in favor of Candace were the epitome of civility and reasoned debate. However, I saw no civility or reasoned debate among her critics. At least some of us on the supporting side managed to act like decent human beings. (I wish we all had, though.)

Yewtree said...

She shouldn't accept the unfair rules as they are because they are in breach of the first and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution! Plenty of other high schools are fine with LGBT students turning up with their same-sex partners.

As to the thing that people don't like seeing same-sex couples kissing and hugging - they don't have to watch!

Well done for defending Constance's right to what appears to be a definitive rite of passage in American life.