Phelps to picket Itawamba High because they're just not bigoted enough

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

Fred Phelps and clan are going to Mississippi to picket the Itawamba Agricultural High School graduation, according to the Itawamba County Times.

What’s Fred’s rationale? According to his website:

The parents of Fulton, MS feign outrage that a filthy dyke wants to parade her “girlfriend” around at their night of fornication called a prom. They had a duty to teach their children what the Lord requires of them. They shirked this duty. The Lord repays them to their face by sending dykes, burning in their lusts, to tyrannize them.

In other words, preventing Constance McMillen from going to the prom was not enough. Constance was sent to the town in the first place because the parents didn’t teach their children properly. And they were only pretending to be outraged.

According to the local news, the sheriff is planning to be there to keep the peace but reminds folks that peaceful protests are legal. What he doesn’t say is that Phelps wants to be attacked so that daughter Shirley Phelps Roper can file a lawsuit. That’s how they make their money.

And Phelps said that he will picket to remind the people of biblical warnings against homosexuality. Interesting. I hardly think the good people of Itawamba Agricultural High need reminding or further instruction from Phelps on how to be homophobic bigots.

—  David Taffet

Prom drama continues for McMillen

Okay, so a federal judge ruled that officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi violated senior Constance McMillen’s civil rights when they refused to let her wear a tuxedo and bring her sophomore girlfriend as her date to the senior prom.

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

When Constance, represented by the ACLU, took the case to court, the school cancelled the prom. But the judge didn’t order the school to reinstate the prom, because the school said some parents would be holding a private prom instead, and they insisted that Constance and her girlfriend would be invited and that Constance could wear a tux.

The prom was supposed to be last Friday. But early last week, the parents sponsoring it said it had been cancelled. Then the school officials said, no, the prom WOULD be held on Friday night at the Fulton Country Club.

So Constance and her girlfriend showed up. But there were only seven other students there. Seems the REAL prom was being held somewhere else, in secret, so that all the straight students could have fun without having to worry about the lesbians messing things up.

And according to Ya’ll Politics, where I found this info, school officials were in on the secret and helped the parents plan the “real” prom somewhere else. The Ya’ll Politics page says they got the story from “NMC,” but I can’t get the page they linked to to load.

—  admin

Constance wins her lawsuit, but still loses her prom

Constance McMillen wins, but still loses
Constance McMillen wins, but still loses

U.S. District Court Judge Glen H. Davidson on Tuersday, March 23 ruled that the Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Mississippi violated Constance McMillen’s cosntitutional right to free speech by refusing to allow her to attend the senior prom with her girlfriend and to wear a tuxedo to the prom.

But Constance still doesn’t get to go to the prom, because school officials canceled the event rather than let her attend in a tux with her girlfriend. Judge Davidson did not order the school to reinstate the event.

A private prom has been scheduled. But Constance isn’t invited.

Judge Davidson, in his ruling, wrote that being able to attend with a girlfriend and wear a tuxedo to prom is “the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment.”

But Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, disagrees. Tim, who recently took over the AFA when his father Donald retired for health reasons, delcared in a statement released today: “This is not about speech at all, but about the homosexual agenda. It’s about the schoolyard bullies at the ACLU using an activist federal judge to force schools to normalize sexually aberrant behavior.”

Tim continued: “It’s absurd to accuse the school of violating her free speech rights. She’s been talking to anybody and everybody who will listen and the school has made no effort to stop her.”

(Interesting to note that these are the same folks who complain that hate crimes laws that include LGBT people violate their free speech rights to incite violence against gays and lesbians and trans people.)

And Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of issue analysis, breaks out the same old tired “same right to be straight” argument used against marriage equality efforts. He said: “The school had one policy that applied to every student equally. If Ms. McMillen wanted to bring a date to the prom, she had the same right every other student had, to bring a date of the opposite sex. She already had equal rights, but that wasn’t enough for the thugs at the ACLU. They want special rights for homosexuals, not equal rights.”

Wildmon urged other schools in similar situations as Itawamba to fight back against those ACLU thugs and promised that AFA “stands ready to help schools stand their ground,” and warned that the ACLU “is out to demolish the Judeo-Christian value system on which this nation was built, and they’ll get away with it unless we rise up to stop them

—  admin

UPDATE: No prom for McMillen

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

A substitute private prom has been scheduled for Itawamba Agricultural High School. Constance McMillen, the 18-year old senior who is a lesbian and wanted to attend with her girlfriend, is not invited.

A hotel owner in New Orleans offered to hold an inclusive prom at his property and pay for the bus to transport the students, including McMillen.

Instead, the private prom will be held in a furniture store in Tupelo, Miss. Now how much more fun than a prom in New Orleans will this event in Tupelo be?

McMillen, represented by the ACLU, had sued the county school board to allow her to attend dressed in a tuxedo. As a result of the suit, the school board canceled the prom and asked that a private, discriminatory party be scheduled.

—  David Taffet

Date set for hearing in lesbian's suit over senior prom

Constance McMillen will get her day in court. And that day will be Monday, March 22.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Constance, a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss., after IAHS officials canceled the senior prom rather than let Constance wear a tuxedo and take her girlfriend as a date to the prom. The judge has set the first hearing in the case for next Monday.

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

Constance and the ACLU are asking the court to issue an injunction forcing the school to hold the prom.

The prom was originally set for April 2.

In a recent interview with Dan Savage, Constance said that she has had a hard time in her hometown since th prom was cancelled. She told Savage:

“The locals don’t like me, but I can’t help it. And things were really hostile in school last week after they cancelled prom. People were rude, and if people talked to me at all it was real short answers. There are a few people who are with me, my real friends, people who are intelligent enough to realize what’s really going on here. But the majority are not on my side.”

She also asked that supporters who want to write letters to IAHS officials “please be respectful. No one hears if you’re screaming and mad and cussing and stuff. Tell them exactly how you feel, but in a respectful way.”

A Facebook page in support of Constance already has more than 320,000 fans.

—  admin

No prom at Itawamba Agricultural High

All that Constance McMillen wanted was the chance to take the person she is dating to her high school prom — which doesn’t seem like a big deal. Except that Constance, 18, is an out lesbian and the person she is dating is a sophomore

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

girl, and officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi just couldn’t let that happen.

(Constance also wanted to wear a tuxedo. That’s a big no-no at IAHS, too.)

So Constance went to the ACLU and asked for help. The ACLU sent the school a letter demanding the school district change its policy. And school district officials have now responded by canceling prom outright.

School board members issued this statement: “Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events, the Itawamba County School District has decided to not host a prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School this year.”

Maybe, the school board members, the people of the community could put together a prom for the kids. (Although Constance probably wouldn’t be able to take her girlfriend or wear a tux to that one, either.)

Constance is aghast. “Oh, my God. That’s really messed up because the message they are sending is that if they have to let gay people go to prom that they are not going to have one,” she told USA Today. “A bunch of kids at school are really going to hate me for this.”

Read more about it here.

—  admin

ACLU fighting Mississippi school's 'no lesbians at the prom' rule

Constance McMillen, 18, is a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi. She is also a lesbian. And she wants to take her girlfriend to her senior prom.

School officials said no. They said Constance and her girlfriend cannot arrive at the prom together and Constance cannot wear a tuxedo to the prom. They can both go to the prom separately, and if they both wear the “appropriate attire.” But then, if any of the other students complain about them being there, Constance and her girlfriend will be thrown out.

(From the way the press release was written, it implies that the lesbian couple’s mere presence is enough to make other students uncomfortable enough to complain and warrant the couple’s ejection from the event.)

So now, the ACLU and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition have issued a demand that Itawamba County Schools officials reverse their decision and let Constance and her girlfriend attend prom as a couple. The two groups sent a letter to school officials that “cited federal court cases guaranteeing students’ First Amendment right to bring same-sex dates to school dances, and also pointed out that treating McMillen and other lesbian, gay, and bisexual students differently from other students violates the Constitution’s equal protection guarantees. In addition to illegally barring McMillen and her girlfriend from attending the prom together, the ACLU said that the school further violated McMillen’s free expression rights by telling her that she can’t wear a tuxedo to the prom,” according to the press release from the ACLU.

Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said: “Prom is supposed to be about all students being able to express themselves, have fun, and make memories that will last the rest of their lives. Constance has a constitutional right to take the person she’s dating to the prom, just like any other student at any other public school.”

—  admin