Indiana group fights for “gay-free” prom

A group of parents, students and a local teacher is fighting for a separate "traditional" prom that would ban gays

Topics: LGBT, LGBTQ, Prom, High School, teen bullying, Bullying, anti-gay bullying, ACLU, ,

Indiana group fights for "gay-free" prom

After failing to ban gay teens from attending Sullivan County High School’s official prom, a group of Indiana parents, students and a local teacher is fighting for a separate “traditional” prom that would keep gay kids out.

The move sparked national outrage, and now officials at the high school are trying to distance themselves from those planning the gay-free fête.

In an interview with local NBC affiliate WTWO, principal David Springer made clear that the “traditional” prom committee was an independent group and that the school had no involvement. He also said that all students will be welcome at the official prom in the Spring: “Anybody can go to the prom… Of course, a girl could go out with another girl if they didn’t have a date or that was their choice.”

The church that hosted the anti-gay prom organizers has also come under fire for their involvement: “Our church has no involvement in this whatsoever. It’s a community thing where people have met here,” Pastor Dale Wise at Sullivan First Christian Church told Indiana’s WTHR.

Despite community and national backlash against it, local pastor Bill Phegley continues to support the straights-only prom because, he said, Christians in Sullivan are prepared to “fight” for their opposition to homosexuality:

“Christians have always been prepared for a fight, but Jesus Christ give us armor for the front, not the back… We aren’t running no more.”

And Diana Medley, a special education teacher at a nearby school and one of the event organizers, is also undeterred.

“We don’t agree with it and it’s offensive to us,” she told WTWO of the group’s views on being gay.

“Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them,” she added. “It’s the same thing with my special needs kids; I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.”

When asked whether she thought gay people have a “purpose,” Medley responded, “No, I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t… A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.”



The controversy in Indiana is, sadly, nothing new. In 2010, Constance McMillen, the then 18-year-old lesbian from Fulton, Mississippi, was told she couldn’t bring her girlfriend to prom. McMillen, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, threatened a lawsuit and the school settled the case with her — for $35,000.

The school now enforces a nondiscrimination policy.

13 WTHR Indianapolis

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>