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 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • 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>