The QiRanger Adventures

The Gay Prom

with 8 comments

Ah, the Deep South. It is often spoke of as a backwater and racist den of good ol’ boys striking deals and lynching black men from jail. The fact the Itawamba County School District recently canceled the high school prom over sexual orientation really isn’t a surprise to me. It’s very disappointing, but not a surprise.

I have long been an ally for LGBT issues and fully support Constance McMillen in this issue; however, I must also not find fault with the school district.

I do not agree with their decision and think they acted cowardly and against the ideals of the United States. It is unfortunate to report they are acting within the laws of the United States – something the ACLU and others are forgetting.

First, remember that in the United States, sexual orientation is not a protected class. It should be, but it isn’t. This means that employers and the government can freely discriminate against anyone who isn’t heterosexual. In the 21st century, this is something that really needs to be changed. While some states have made sexual orientation a protected class, the federal government still has not. This shortfall enables states, like Mississippi, to freely discriminate.

Second, one must remember that this is a school event. Public educational institutions have been given a wide berth when constructing rules for students. This is one reason that school uniforms are permitted on campus. A dance, is a school-sponsored event, so the district has the established precedence to dictate what individuals can wear. In fact, schools can even determine who can and cannot attend events.

Finally, let’s not forget that this dance is paid for by the district. They have the right to hold or cancel events as they see fit. While the reason for canceling this event is a crock of crap, they still have the right to do so.

I certainly hope the district learns a lesson from this fiasco, but more importantly, I hope America learns a lesson and finally rises up and demands equal protection for all.

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Written by Steve Miller

March 19, 2010 at 10:46 am

8 Responses

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  1. kudos to that!

    teelineforit

    March 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

  2. Interesting story. It has pretty much dominated the local media for the past week or so.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100319/NEWS01/3200316/Fulton+teen+appears+on++Ellen++TV+show

    Jason

    March 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

    • I can imagine how it would. Rather than actually focusing on all aspects of the story, most media outlets are just hyping it up. I long for the days of critical analysis in the news.

      Steve

      March 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

  3. Loved your post!

    I have to say I was pretty schoked when you mentionned that sexual orientation isn’t a protected class.

    I live in Quebec (Canada), which is reknown to be very ‘avant-garde’ when it comes to homosexuality and here, they are protected. I’m not saying there isn’t any discrimination, but theyhave ressources. It’s pretty horrible to think it’s not the case in 2010 in the United States :/

    I hope this will change though and that it won’t take too many serious cases before government open their eyes!

    Mélanie

    March 24, 2010 at 2:19 am

    • It’s a serious problem in my eyes. I can’t believe that the government won’t make it a protected class.

      Steve

      March 24, 2010 at 7:19 am

  4. The good news is that a federal judge ruled today that the school district has to reinstate the prom and let her bring her date. He said the school violated her first amendment rights by denying her request.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/mar/24/constance-mcmillen-prom-lesbian-mississippi

    Phil

    March 25, 2010 at 6:31 am

    • That is good news. I still have a hard time believing that it’s a First Amendment issue given how much schools are allowed to censor speech and activities of their students. I really hope this opens the door so that sexual orientation can finally become a federally protected class and end these cases once and for all!

      Steve

      March 25, 2010 at 9:45 am


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