A small town Mississippi High School has decided to cancel its school prom after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) demanded the school permit a female student to wear a tux to the prom and attend with her lesbian partner.
Now the ACLU is suing the school, asking the courts to force the Itawamba County School District to hold the prom and permit 18-year-old Constance McMillen to attend with her lesbian partner and to cross-dress. (Read the lawsuit here)
Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that he was taken aback by the “hypocrisy” of the ACLU. Fischer said, “ACLU is always telling us how wrong it is to impose our values on others, but here its clear that they are perfectly willing to ram their values down the throats of an entire school district and all of its students.”
“Now they are even trying to get a federal judge to dictate to the school whether they hold a prom or not,” he added.
Besides offending the moral sensibilities of many of the families in the Bible-belt with children attending the school, there are concerns that the wearing of a tuxedo by a girl would contravene the school’s strict dress code, which states, “Clothing and general appearance are not to be the type that would cause a disturbance.” The school’s dress code is admittedly “conservative,” also forbidding skirts above the knee, muscle shirts and exposure of undergarments.
Fischer said that while the ACLU asserts that McMillen is being treated unfairly, she is in fact being given the same right as all other students – to bring an opposite sex date to the prom. A February 5 memo from the school to students noted that each student may invite one guest to the prom and that the guest “must be of the opposite sex.”
What the ACLU fuss over the case suggests, said Fischer, “is that homosexual activists do not want equal rights but special rights.”
Itawamba County School District issued a statement yesterday saying that “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” it has decided not to host a prom at the High School this year. “It is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors,” the statement added.
The ACLU has previously forced schools to acquiesce to its demands. In November 2009, Tharptown High School in Alabama permitted Cynthia Stewart, 17, to attend the prom with another girl as her ‘date’. The school originally decided to cancel the prom rather than offend moral sensibilities, but capitulated when threatened with legal action by the ACLU.
The precedent on such cases was set in Canada in 2002. 17-year-old Marc Hall insisted that he be allowed to bring his 21-year-old boyfriend to the prom at his Catholic school. When the school refused to permit it, and canceled the prom rather than offend the school’s religious creed, homosexual activists made Hall into a cause célèbre, suing the school for $100,000.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Union (OECTA) actively sided with Hall against Catholic education and Church authorities and intervened in the case. Over half the teachers in Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School supported Hall’s action.
In an interim ruling on the day of the prom, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert MacKinnon issued an injunction saying that Hall could not be forbidden from attending with his homosexual date and that the school was not permitted to cancel the prom. The prom took place as the court ordered without significant protest from Catholic authorities.
In 2005, Hall dropped his lawsuit and the Catholic school board involved was never able to have a court decide finally on the matter.
The ACLU seems to be following the same method employed by homosexual activists in Canada. The ACLU says it will ask the court in the next few days to grant McMillen a preliminary injunction ordering the school to reinstate the April 2 prom, let McMillen and her girlfriend go to the prom together, and let McMillen wear a tuxedo to the event.
The case, Constance McMillen v. Itawamba County School District, et al., also named as defendants Superintendent Teresa McNeece and Itawamba Agricultural High School Principal Trae Wiygul and Vice Principal Rick Mitchell.
No spokesman from the school district was available for comment on this story.