Usually, on this blog, each blogger posts a piece without consulting the others. On occasion, Nick, Bruce or I may run an idea by the others before publishing it. On at least one occasion, I have chosen not to run with a piece (I had written) after showing it to Bruce. On other occasions, I have run posts by friends or readers before posting them. On some occasions, I have edited them as per their suggestions. On others, I have not published the pieces at all.
Had Nick run his piece, The Gay Left’s Newest Member, by me, I would have suggested he not post it. In a way, I see what he’s getting at, how Constance McMillen becomes the latest “victim” of American society feted by the gay groups to promote their agenda.
That said, I do see where she’s coming from. (I appreciate Nick’s clarification; she’s not the one to blame here.)
And I don’t think it’s right for a public school to prevent her from taking the date of her choice to its prom. After the “American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi . . . got involved, claiming the school’s policy regarding dates was discriminatory and violated McMillen’s constitutional rights . . ., the local school board decided to call the whole thing off.
Some parents then organized an alternative prom. According to the Advocate, to “prevent Constance McMillen from bringing a female date to [that] prom, the teen was sent to a ‘fake prom’ while the rest of her class partied at a secret location“. That was a cheap and mean stunt, but it was privately done. By challenging the parents’ actions in court, activists would make the case for forcing Keith Olbermann off the air. His show is little more than a series of cheap and mean stunts.
All that said, I just couldn’t muster the energy to blog about this until I felt it necessary to distinguish my viewpoint from that Nick’s. My reaction to the kerfuffle was that the hyperventilating on some gay blogs and from some gay organizations was a bit overblown. It was as if a new Dark Age had dawned in America.
But, if this were a new Dark Age, then why all this hullabaloo over McMillen’s exclusion? To a large extent, we see this hullabaloo because of the changes taking place across the country. Back in 1980, it made national news that a student in a Rhode Island high school student was taking a same-sex date to the prom. Now, it makes national news when a Mississippi girl can’t take a same-sex date to the prom.
Just four years ago, I spoke to my nephew’s high school, invited by his conservative club and his school’s gay/straight alliance. There are many such clubs across the country. I have heard from friends about their children going to proms where same-sex couples danced together and have talked to young gay men and women who have taken same-sex dates to their high school proms (as far back as the mid-1990s). Maybe someone raised an eyebrow when they arrived at the dance, but no one prevented them from attending with dates of their own choosing.
Had I previously chosen to blog on this topic, I would have shown some sympathy for Miss McMillen. She should have been allowed to take her girlfriend to her prom. But, I would also have wondered that some of those promoting this girl’s cause failed to put her situation into context.
While she may have been excluded from her prom, many gay kids today are taking their same-sex dates to proms across the country — and without the ACLU getting involved.
It’s a lot easier to be gay in high school than it was thirty years ago.
But bringing same-sex dates to the prom is becoming increasingly accepted – even in parts of the South. The Los Angeles Unified School District allows for same-sex dates, and this week, the principal of Bleckley County High School in Georgia said the school will allow a gay senior to take his boyfriend to the prom.
This indicates that the anecdotes I’ve been hearing are not isolated incidents.