Bryan Fischer
Not your mother's senior prom
By Bryan Fischer
March 24, 2010

It's a perfect storm of judicial activism, secular fundamentalism, and weakness in educational leadership.

As a result, we have now been told by a hyperactive federal judge that students who engage in sexually abnormal practices have a First Amendment right to bring their sexually abnormal dates to a high school dance, and there's not a thing schools can do about it. This is not your mother's senior prom.

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss., violated Constance McMillen's First Amendment free speech rights because the school has had a policy in place for some time that if students bring a date to the senior prom, the date must be a member of the opposite sex. He didn't order the school to reinstate its canceled prom, but only because a privately-sponsored prom is in the works. Plus, something called the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition is hosting a prom for gay and lesbian students from all over the state.

The school's policy is just good common sense, and in alignment with the understanding of gender that has undergirded civil society from time immemorial, ever since God created mankind "male and female," according to Genesis 1:27.

Further, the school retained the right to establish certain appropriate dress code policies for dance attendees.

Ms. McMillen is an open lesbian and wanted to wear a tuxedo to prom and bring a lesbian date. The school said no.

Unfortunately, the school collapsed like a cheap tent in a stiff breeze as soon as the ACLU threatened a lawsuit, and canceled the senior prom altogether rather than showing enough spine to stand up to these schoolyard bullies. Liberty Counsel offered school officials the finest pro bono legal representation available, but the school did not even return Liberty's phone calls.

Judge Davidson said the school violated Ms. McMillen's right to free speech. This is utterly absurd. Ms. McMillen has been talking non-stop to anybody who will listen, and the school has made no effort of any kind to stop her from doing so. She's been on "The Early Show," "The Wanda Sykes Show," "The Ellen Degeneres Show," has done countless media interviews and has 400,000 fans at the Facebook page set up for by the ACLU. DeGeneres even presented her with a $30,000 college scholarship. We should all be lucky enough to have our rights violated so egregiously.

Wrote Judge Davidson in his opinion, "The Court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment."

This, Judge Davidson, is not a matter of free speech at all. "Speech," after all, is "speech," not behavior or conduct. And further, what business is it of the federal government — any branch of the federal government — to tell rural schools anywhere how to run school dances? You will look in vain for any mention of proms, tuxedos, or sexual orientation in the federal constitution.

A judge who had not drunk deeply of the spirit of judicial activism and political correctness would simply have tossed this case out of his courtroom before it ever got heard. He would have told the ACLU to go away, instructing them that the Constitution gives the central government no authority whatsoever to tell tiny rural schools how to manage social events.

The ACLU, now empowered to push every school in the nation around, will now go after school after school and pressure them to normalize homosexual behavior, using senior proms as their battering ram. That ultimately is what this is about: forcing schools to treat non-normative sexuality as it if were the moral equivalent of normative sexuality, and at the same time shredding what remains of the Judeo-Christian value system on which this nation was built.

The ACLU claims that it just wanted Ms. McMillen to be treated equally. Well, in point of fact, she was being treated with absolute equality by the school. The same policy — if you want to bring a date, the date must be of the opposite sex — applied to every student in the school. There wasn't one rule for Ms. McMillen and a different rule for everybody else. If she wanted to bring a date, she could, on the same basis as every other student in the school. You can't get any fairer and more equal than that.

What this makes clear is that the ACLU is not after after equal rights for homosexuals — they want special rights. Ms. McMillen already had equal rights, but that was not good enough for the tyrants at the ACLU.

The ACLU claims to be pro-choice. But apparently that only applies if you make choices of which they approve. If you don't, they will haul you into court and get a judge to spank you and order you to make the choice the ACLU wants you to make. Itawamba County school officials can be forgiven for wondering about what happened to their freedom of choice here.

The ACLU can't stop lecturing us about the evils of imposing our values on other people. Yet here they are, gleefully forcing their values down the throat of an entire school district, aided and abetted by a federal judge. Who is forcing their values on whom here?

And the ACLU is not done here yet. Now they're going to court in an attempt to pick the pockets of the taxpayers of Itawamba County for damages and attorneys' fees.

Let's hope school officials elsewhere will stand up and fight rather than weakly capitulating to the immoral demands of homosexual activists. The AFA stands ready to help. After all, this country belongs to the people, not the thugs at the ACLU. And it's time we told them so.

© Bryan Fischer


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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