Constance McMillen, the girl whose prom was canceled so that she couldn’t attend it with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo, finally has a victory after all that she’s been through.
[The Itawamba County School District] agreed to implement a policy banning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the first policy to do so at a public school in the state of Mississippi. The school also agreed to pay McMillen $35,000 in damages and pay for McMillen’s attorneys’ fees.
Wow. Go ACLU!
I hope Constance uses whatever money is left over after lawyers’ fees and uses it to get the hell out of that backwards state. If I thought her presence could help change the way GLBT students are seen by others, I’d encourage her to stay, but that’s not the case at the moment.
For that perception to change, it would take Christians changing their churches from the inside. In other words, it’s probably not going to happen. Where were the Christians during all this? Nowhere. Most of them are too cowardly to stand up against their church doctrine when it comes to homosexuality. (But if I’m wrong and you know a Christian trying to make a difference within his/her church in that state, please let me know.)
It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for a public school district to acknowledge they shouldn’t be discriminating against their own students due to sexual orientation.
At least we have a strong precedent for the future; hopefully, no other gay or lesbian student in Mississippi will have to deal with similar problems.
Constance took this all in stride:
“I’m so glad this is all over. I won’t ever get my prom back, but it’s worth it if it changes things at my school,” said McMillen, who was harassed so badly by students blaming her for the prom cancellation that she had to transfer to another high school to finish her senior year. “I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly. I know there are students and teachers who want to start a gay-straight alliance club, and they should be able to do that without being treated like I was by the school.”
This is a fantastic lesson in what can happen when you stay true to yourself and face the bigots head-on.
I think the American Humanist Association deserves some love for throwing her the prom her school refused to give her.
And the ACLU deserves massive credit for their court victory. If you’re not already a member of the ACLU, show them your support.