ACLU | Discrimination | Education | Mississippi | News

Watch: Constance McMillen, Lesbian Student Denied Prom, Speaks

Constancemcmillen

UPDATED

Erica Hill spoke to Constance McMillen, the Mississippi lesbian high school student whose school canceled the prom because McMillen wanted to bring her girlfriend.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Constance trending on Twitter.  Join in by Tweeting: Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to the Prom! http://tinyurl.com/ybo7xw8 #Constance

ConstanceFacebook group.

Constance is being harassed by classmates.

The ACLU has now filed a lawsuit against a Mississippi high school on behalf of lesbian Constance McMillen after the school canceled prom for the entire student body because McMillen petitioned to attend with a female date, the AP reports:

"District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a prom instead. The lawsuit seeks a court order for the school to hold the prom. It also asks that McMillen be allowed to escort her girlfriend and wear the tuxedo."

ACLU: "Complaint filed in federal court, asking the court to reinstate the prom for all students at the school and charging Itawamba County School District officials with violating Constance McMillen’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression."

A New Orleans hotel owner is offering to host a prom for all the students and bus them to one of his properties

EMAILS for school officials, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier...
Lesbian Student Says School's Decision to Cancel Prop is Retaliation [tr]

Superintendent Teresa McNeece
tmcneece@itawamba.k12.ms.us
phone (662) 862-2159 Ext. 14

Principal Trae Wiygul
twiygul@itawamba.k12.ms.us
(662) 862-3104

School Board Member Eddie Hood
a082315@allstate.com

School Board Member Jackie Nichols
jnichols@itawamba.k12.ms.us

School Board Member Harold Martin
hmartin@itawamba.k12.ms.us

School Board Member Clara Brown
cbrown@network-one.com

School Board Member Tony Wallace
twallace@nexband.com

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Comments

  1. Good! I hope she's able to attend with her girlfriend!

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 11, 2010 6:47:02 PM


  2. You go girl!

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 11, 2010 6:51:14 PM


  3. I feel bad for the kid, who is going to take heat from both the asshole homophobe students/parents and the students/parents who want their prom. Being gay in high school's hard enough without homophobic pricks like those on this school board trying to take out their blind, ignorant hatred on a kid. They also want to silence other kids in high school, encouraging the closet. I hope the aclu skewers them.

    And why is it that almost universally, school boards are populated by some of the dumbest, most ass backward people on the face of the earth?

    Maybe Milton was right, and the voucher system is to be preferred to this "public education".

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 11, 2010 7:02:49 PM


  4. @Tank

    The sad truth of the matter is that "school boards are populated by some of the dumbest, most ass backward people on the face of the earth" (to use your words), because in the mid-1970s, the hard-line, religious right realized that the vast majority of secular mainstream America wasn't on board with their christianist flavored taliban-ish extremism in regular elections.

    With the help of the Republicans (who were looking to re-build their base after the humiliation of the Nixon years), they launched a two pronged plan to 1) attack and de-fund secular, public education with an aim toward elevating religious, private education and 2) launch an effort to take over the precincts and school boards on the local level where such attributes as "pastor" or "church-deacon' hold more of a cachet and they are less likely to be highly publicized. This would allow them to control what would be left of public education and to insinuate themselves powerfully into the grass roots of the political machine.

    This is why school boards are always doing ridiculous, homophobic garbage like this to kids. Why there are perennial battles over the "controversy" of teaching evolution and why nearly ANY politician that wants to move up the ranks from local to regional, to state and eventually Federal office must carefully toe-the-line on "traditional values" and "Faith". More-so the Republicans but even in most places the Democratic party as well.

    It is not a coincidence. It is not an accident. It is how a cultural group that amounts to less that 23% of the population has managed to drive and control modern political discourse for the rest of us for over 30 years

    Posted by: Dego | Mar 11, 2010 7:52:37 PM


  5. This is a good example of why I stopped donating to the HRC more than five years ago but I never hesitate to renew my ACLU membership.

    Posted by: Jason | Mar 11, 2010 8:50:01 PM


  6. What I don't get is why gay teens feel the need to even ask school officials for permission to bring their same sex dates to the prom. Nobody else has to confirm with school officials who they're taking... so, just don't. That way gay teens can save themselves the bother of being told they can't bring their B/GFs.

    Posted by: Jman | Mar 11, 2010 10:25:34 PM


  7. "...on behalf of lesbian Constance McMillen..."


    Seriously?!?! of lesbian Constance? Who wrote that? ACLU? Do they refer to straight people like that as well? Tsk tsk tsk.

    Posted by: Kevin | Mar 11, 2010 10:50:58 PM


  8. @Kevin: Unfortunately, language like "on be half of the lesbian Constance" is pretty standard in legalese and journalistic standards. I think here it's used because the fact that she is a lesbian is of central importance to the issue.

    You know what I'd like to see in this community if it were large enough. A private gay prom. Heterosexual couples are not allowed. I'd LOVE to see how that went over.

    I feel sorry for Constance though. She just wanted to go to her prom with her girlfriend. Now she's a symbol of a lost prom to parents, teachers, fellow students, and a community. It truly is an absolutely HORRIBLE thing to do to a person in a situation like High School, where the slightest thing will make you a target for some of the worst harassment and bullying imaginable. I truly hope she has something to use as a rock through this, be it friends, parents, her girlfriend, or faith.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 12, 2010 12:07:00 AM


  9. Maybe my high school did things differently. The Senior Class held fundraisers and dances all year to pay for the prom, to subsidize ticket prices. The year before me, the senior class raised so much money that the tickets were $20.

    The school didn't pay shit towards the prom.

    Posted by: qjersey201 | Mar 12, 2010 8:12:39 AM


  10. What is interesting is that I took a guy (I'm a guy) to my prom in '99, and I don't remember anyone even caring or noticing. What is also interesting is that I work at a private school in Louisiana, and this discrimination would never be tolerated. Sure, we would have some parents complain, but parents always complain. As someone else mentioned, when you have school boards made up of idiots, this is the result. What surprises me is that the rest of the student body doesn't rally behind her, because typically when you take something away from a teenager, they will put aside their differences to come together and get it back.

    Posted by: Jesse | Mar 12, 2010 10:26:02 AM


  11. Yeah, even 18 years ago at my high school here in Oklahoma, there was a lesbian couple at prom and one wore a tux. There was no uproar, no threats of canceling or even forbidding them from attending. Didn't ruin anyone's night having them there, didn't destroy society or cause a plague to descend upon the land. Just stupid.

    Posted by: LiamB | Mar 12, 2010 10:54:09 AM


  12. Can we get some more information on the hotel owner and which hotel it is? It seems to me we should throw some gay business his way. Kudos!

    Posted by: Giancarlo Blandon | Mar 12, 2010 11:04:49 AM


  13. This girl has unbelievable courage.

    I was born and raised in Oxford Mississippi just a few miles from Fulton. Went through Fulton every other week on the way to my grandmothers houses in Belmont and Booneville. The level of homophobia, and racism, still there today is extreme and unimaginable to people who don't live in the rural deep South.

    I remember how rough it was for me when I came out in Mississippi. For this young woman to take such a public, determined stand is REMARKABLE to the extreme. She deserves ALL of our support.

    When I see grown men (actors, politicians, athletes, etc.) in New York and California whining about how they have to stay closeted to protect their "masculine" "manly" credentials, or because they're "afraid" people might be "mean" to them I think of people like Constance in the rural South standing proudly and courageously in the LITERAL wilderness. This young woman has more BALLS in her little finger than some of these people have in their wildest dreams.

    Constance is an inspiration. She is my hero.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 12, 2010 11:23:24 AM


  14. Fuck, that's one ugly lesbian attorney! Why do most lesbians predictably look like ugly men?! Does it not feed the psychoanalytic belief that they want to be men?

    Posted by: nikko | Mar 12, 2010 12:15:52 PM


  15. Hey Nikko, you are a SACK OF FUCKING SHIT, ASSHOLE BASTARD LESBIANPHOBIC TURD!!!!

    Posted by: Mike in Brooklyn | Mar 12, 2010 12:20:16 PM


  16. And with Mike's stirring prayer I think we can all sing the praises of this brave young Mississippian.

    Aint gonna' let nobody turn me 'round
    turn me 'round....turn me 'round
    aint gonna' let nobody turn me 'round
    gonna' keep on walkin', keep on talkin'
    walkin' down that freedom line

    Thanks for the inspirational testimony, Brooklyn Mike

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 12, 2010 12:54:55 PM


  17. Call the schools, e-mail them, and have your friends do the same. This is shameful to ALL Teh students there, not just the gay ones. TYou don't put baby in the corner and YOU DON'T CANCEL PROM!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 12, 2010 1:33:54 PM


  18. If every fan to Constance's facebook page donated a buck or two...I bet we could raise enough money to host a prom at some hotel ball room in Mississippi for her class. The gays would be allowed, as would all her senior classmates who would see that the gays didn't ruin their senior year, the gays saved it. Besides, we'd throw a much better party than the school anyway - better music, better decorations...it's just an idea...

    Posted by: Solutions | Mar 13, 2010 4:21:29 PM


  19. So you dont have to copy and paste each one over and over again like I did:

    tmcneece@itawamba.k12.ms.us, twiygul@itawamba.k12.ms.us, a082315@allstate.com, jnichols@itawamba.k12.ms.us, hmartin@itawamba.k12.ms.us, cbrown@network-one.com, twallace@nexband.com

    Posted by: Dboo | Mar 13, 2010 9:56:44 PM


  20. MediaCurves.com conducted a media study among viewers of a news clip about a school’s cancellation of prom due to a lesbian student wanting to take her girlfriend to the dance. Results found that the majority of viewers (77%) believed that the school’s actions were an act of discrimination. Furthermore, the vast majority of viewers (88%) indicated that the actions by the school were not appropriate. More in depth results can be seen at: http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7781-PromCancellation/Index.cfm
    Thanks,
    Ben

    Posted by: Ben | Mar 16, 2010 2:04:38 PM


  21. Normally, sex or coitus is described as penetration of a male sexual organ or penis into female sexual organ referred to as vagina. Then how can a woman without penis engage in sex with another when women do not have a penis or male sex organ.For your more information:http://ping.fm/dLvcM

    Posted by: Diane Jbabin | Mar 17, 2010 3:14:18 AM


  22. I thing all students no matter how they feel about their sexuality deserves normal life.

    Posted by: casual sex | Sep 3, 2010 8:14:10 AM


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