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#415645 - 03/12/10 04:02 PM Oppressed lesbian student fights back
ROA Offline


Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 43
Loc: Ohio
Source
Quote:

JACKSON, Miss. – A lesbian student who wanted to take her girlfriend to her senior prom is asking a federal judge to force her Mississippi school district to reinstate the dance it canceled.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi on Thursday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oxford on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who said she faced some unhappy classmates after the Itawamba County School District said it wouldn't host the April 2 prom.

"Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year,'" McMillen said of her reluctant return Thursday to Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton.

The lawsuit seeks a court order for the school to hold the prom. It also asks that McMillen be allowed to escort her girlfriend, who is a fellow student, and wear a tuxedo, which the school said also violated policy.

The district's decision Wednesday came after the ACLU demanded that officials change a policy banning same-sex prom dates because it said it violated students' rights. The ACLU said the district violated McMillen's free expression rights by not letting her wear a tux.

McMillen said she never expected the district to respond the way it did.

"A lot of people said that was going to happen, but I said, they had already spent too much money on the prom" to cancel it, she said.

McMillen said she didn't want to go back to the high school in Fulton the morning after the decision, but her father told her she needed to face her classmates.

"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 school board statement said it wouldn't host the event "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events" but didn't mention McMillen. District officials didn't return calls seeking comment Thursday.

At least one supporter has offered to help McMillen and her classmates hold an alternate prom.

New Orleans hotel owner Sean Cummings told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson he was so disappointed with the school board's decision he offered to transport the students in buses to the city and host a free prom at one of his properties.

"New Orleans, we're a joyful culture and a creative culture here and, if the school doesn't change its mind, we'd be delighted to offer them a prom in New Orleans," he told the newspaper. "Concluding your high school experience should be a joyful one. One shouldn't conclude that experience with all their friends on a negative note."

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.

McMillen says she hopes her fight will make it easier for gay students at other schools facing discrimination.

"I want other kids to know that's it not right for schools to do that," she said on CBS's "The Early Show."

In 2002, a gay student sued his school district in Toronto to allow him to attend a prom with his boyfriend. A judge later forced the district to allow the couple to attend and stopped the district from canceling the prom.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said a bill he's introduced in Congress would make it illegal to discriminate against gay and lesbian school students. He said at least 10 states have such laws, and his bill is modeled after those.

"This situation with the prom is a perfect example of why we need to protect students from discrimination. In this case it's a prom. It other cases, it's getting beaten up or killed," Polis said.

The school district had said it hoped a privately sponsored prom could be held.

Southside Baptist Church Pastor Bobby Crenshaw said he's seen the South portrayed as "backwards" on Web sites discussing the issue, "but a lot more people here have biblically based values."

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.


I hate seeing such bigotry coming from a position of authority. I hope this girl is successful in her lawsuit against these idiots. I am glad that I am in college now instead of being in High School. Now admittedly I never faced anything like this, but now I am in an atmosphere where I can be treated as an adult and not pushed around by people that want to control who I am.
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#415646 - 03/12/10 04:09 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11561
Loc: New England, USA
I've always found it interesting that Mississippi and Alabama always end ranked at the bottom for education levels, and at the top for religious fervor.
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#415647 - 03/12/10 04:17 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
Wow... they'd actually rather have no prom at all than let a lesbian couple show up in tuxedos. Maybe they hoped that canceling it altogether would encourage the other students to form an angry mob and hang her from a tree-- ya know, next to all the other pesky minorities.
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#415648 - 03/12/10 04:18 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10574
Loc: England
Brilliant story.

I like anyone who challenges this widespread bigotry that is the bedrock of Anglo/American society. Life killing zealots.

Good luck to the girl. Great to see she has a supportive and understanding father.
_________________________
"u.v.ray blends the dark street poetry of Nelson Algren with the swagger and style of a young Iggy Pop."

www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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#415654 - 03/12/10 05:21 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2153
I read this story earlier when I was checking my e-mail.

Of course it is terrible, and that girl (and her remarkably supportive family) have my sincerest sympathies. But really, what do you expect from a bunch of God-fearing backwoods morons?

They are the prime reason I'll probably never live in the South again. Sure, they do exist elsewhere, but I can say from experience that Mississippi is the most bigoted state. Fuck it. We'd all be better if it sank into the Gulf of Mexico.
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#415657 - 03/12/10 05:41 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Imagine the animosity that must be pouring out at this poor girl from every student who was looking forward to the prom. Won't surprise me if it escalates to serious violence. Lamb of God, grant us peace, my ass.
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#415660 - 03/12/10 06:24 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: ROA]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
So they didn't let her go to a glorified kiddie party. Boo-hoo!

I remember when "oppressed" meant 30 years of forced labor in Siberia.

PS: I'm not siding with the bible-thumping assholes, I’m just amused by how lightly the word “oppressed” is thrown around nowadays. The famous Monty Python sketch comes to mind.
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You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
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#415674 - 03/12/10 10:23 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Old_Pig]
M.D. Roche Offline
Banned

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Albany, New York
I personally have never understood "the big deal" about high school proms, and probably never will. It's one of those absurd rituals that young people are expected to partake in, just because.

However, it's obviously not just about fighting for a stupid prom.
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#415677 - 03/12/10 10:31 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Old_Pig]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12579
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Quote:
I remember when "oppressed" meant 30 years of forced labor in Siberia.


I must admit that similar thoughts came to me when I read this.

I sometimes see bumper stickers on cars that read, "Question Authority" which really mean "Give cops a hard time".

Having been around police and military most of my life I just cannot relate.

An "enemy" is someone trying to kill you.

A cause worth fighting for should be on the same level.

Context is everything.

P.S. I love your graphic illustrations and storylines!

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#415680 - 03/12/10 11:09 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: M.D. Roche]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
Originally Posted By: MALFORM
However, it's obviously not just about fighting for a stupid prom.


I understand the issue here is more than the prom... but not much more.

I find interesting how some people strive to be as different from the herd as possible... then they act offended when the herd excludes them from their herd-oriented rituals.

You either belong or you don't.

You can't be a "proud black sheep" then go whining about your lack of camouflage in winter.
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


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#415681 - 03/12/10 11:18 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Nemo]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
Thanks, Magister. I'm glad you like my work.
_________________________
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein


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#415682 - 03/12/10 11:28 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Old_Pig]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8876
He's not the only one! I have always considered you to possess true genius - not just "talent".

You combine art, humor, and Satanic perspectives in one easy to digest package as well as anyone I know.

I've read every comic on every page of your site and check in regularly to see your newest work.

Knowing your life story just adds depth when viewing your work.

Your work has given me much amusement! Now I feel guilty for not praising you more before now!

wink
_________________________
T’aa hwo’ aaji t’eego.

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#415683 - 03/12/10 11:30 PM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Old_Pig]
Phineas Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 8269
I find interesting how some people strive to be as different from the herd as possible... then they act offended when the herd excludes them from their herd-oriented rituals.

Precisely. I have absolutely no sympathy for those who play the victim card.

Oppressed my foot, these whiny kids have no idea what oppressed really means.

_________________________
"Consensus is the absence of leadership." Margaret Thatcher

"I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily." John Gaughan


"Success is uncommon. Therefore, not to be enjoyed by the common man." Cal Stoll

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#415699 - 03/13/10 04:09 AM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Phineas]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: Phineas
Oppressed my foot, these whiny kids have no idea what oppressed really means.


Nothing is a cliche when it's happening to you.

You are right that what these kids call oppression is nothing compared to some of the harsher things some political systems were doing not so long ago - but it's the only oppression they know. [I guess that says something about how safe a society the USA is.]

I hope they make it, but screaming that your basic human rights were violated is not the way. You don't win by making yourself a victim.

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#415702 - 03/13/10 04:34 AM Re: Oppressed lesbian student fights back [Re: Old_Pig]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10574
Loc: England
>> I find interesting how some people strive to be as different from the herd as possible... then they act offended when the herd excludes them from their herd-oriented rituals.<<

If someone is homosexual they are not striving to be different. They are just what they are.

I agree, this kind of thing is not exactly oppression - certainly not in the truest sense of the word as I understand it.

What it is is beurocratic bullshit. But these people are life killing zealots who do strive. They strive to enforce their moral values on others.

This kid isn't whining. She has taken counter-action against a bullshit policy that says she can't take her girlfriend to a fucking dance.

Good luck to her.
_________________________
"u.v.ray blends the dark street poetry of Nelson Algren with the swagger and style of a young Iggy Pop."

www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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