The small town of Sullivan, Indiana, is in the spotlight after a group of teens and parents there called for a "traditional" prom that bans gay students from attending. The group gathered on Sunday at First Christian Church to discuss the idea of separate proms for straight students and gay students at Sullivan High School (an idea the school itself never discussed or condoned).
Two days and hundreds of news articles and Facebook posts later, it seems the idea isn't going over so well.
Diana Medley, an adult member of the group who is a special education teacher (in a neighboring town, not at Sullivan High), told local news outlets that she doesn't agree with students being gay. "I believe [homosexuality] is a choice, I don't believe they were born that way. I think that life circumstances made them that way."
The group that met at the church briefly had a Facebook page called 2013 Sullivan Traditional Prom, but the page has been removed. In support of gay students, a mom from a town near Sullivan created a Facebook page called Support the Sullivan High School Prom for All, which had over 20,000 fans by Tuesday afternoon.
The high school's principal said that all students can attend the school's prom in late April, and whether they choose a same-sex date is their own business. Public schools are legally obligated to welcome all kids to the prom -- as one school district in Mississippi learned the hard way (courts forced the district to pay $35,000 to Constance McMillen, a lesbian student who was blocked from attending the prom in a tux with her girlfriend in 2010).
With Valentine's Day just a couple of days away, I'm glad to see most people showing all the Sullivan kids some love. I have a feeling Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" will be a popular song at the Sullivan prom.
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