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.

You Might Also Like

“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

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



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>