McMillen, 18, said she became emotional after reading about the suicides of 13-year-old Seth Walsh, of California, who hanged himself outside his home after enduring taunts from classmates, and of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who killed himself after his sexual encounter was secretly streamed online.
“I read it on Facebook. I was so upset about this that I could not sleep,” McMillen said. “I knew it had to be terrible for them to choose death as a way to escape what they were living in.”
McMillen said she has had her own suicidal thoughts. “But I never really considered it to the point where I almost did it,” she said. “Everybody thinks about it when times get hard.”
Growing up in the small town of Fulton, Miss., McMillen said she wasn’t bullied until school officials canceled the prom rather than allow McMillen and her girlfriend to attend as a couple. “I went through a lot of harassment and bullying after the lawsuit, and I realized how bad it felt being in that position,” she said
The Itawamba School District has agreed to update its anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and will pay McMillen $35,000 in damages for denying lesbian student Constance McMillen the right to attend her prom with her girlfriend
From the ACLU Press Release:
Itawamba County School District officials agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the case of a recent high school graduate who sued her school for canceling the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. The agreement ends a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who suffered humiliation and harassment after parents, students and school officials executed a cruel plan to put on a “decoy” prom for her while the rest of her classmates were at a private prom 30 miles away.
“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.” As set forth in documents filed in court today, school officials 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.
“Constance went through a great deal of harassment and humiliation simply for standing up for her rights, and she should be proud of what she has accomplished,” said Christine P. Sun, senior counsel with the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Thanks to her bravery, we now not only have a federal court precedent that can be used to protect the rights of students all over the country to bring the date they want to their proms, but we also have the first school anti-discrimination policy of its kind in Mississippi.”
In addition to today’s legal judgment against the school, an earlier ruling in the case set an important precedent that will help prevent other students from suffering the kind of discrimination McMillen experienced. In March, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi issued a ruling in McMillen’s case that school officials violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights when it canceled the high school prom rather than let McMillen attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.
Thats great news for McMillan, but unfortunately it still seems like Itawamba County and Fulton Mississippi is STILL amongst the douchiest places in America and the South will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century as local media are painting it as a payoff and the school itself is admitting NO WRONGDOING.
But school district attorney Michelle Floyd issued a statement today saying the northeast Mississippi district is admitting no wrongdoing in the affair.
“The Itawamba County School District believes that Constance McMillen’s rights under the United States Constitution were not violated by any act, omission, policy, custom or practice of the district,” Floyd said in the statement.
Floyd also said the district’s insurance policy would pay the award. Christine Sun, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represented McMillen in the lawsuit, said the claim is a “distinction without a difference.”
Head on over to to the Clarion Ledge page and read the comments. You can almost hear dueling banjo’s in the background of some of the comments.
The oxymoron gay Republican asshole called Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML) over at Gay Patriot are attacking “the gay left’s newest tool,” Constance McMillen because we all know that high school kids aren’t self-aware enough to know that they’re gay.
Okay. So have you heard of this story where the high school girl who wanted to attend the prom with her “lesbian girlfriend” (I use the quotes because, really. Call me an old stick-in-the-mud*, but are high-schoolers self-aware enough to realize they’re lesbians already? And even if so, are we encouraging kids that young to identify themselves sexually? What ever happened to the innocence and beauty of youth? Ugh, but anyway.) was duped into arriving at some sham event while the actual prom was being held somewhere else? [snip] Additionally, let’s note that her reaction was to broadcast far and wide to anybody willing to listen that she’d been completely punked and embarrassed through her gullibility in hopes of garnering sympathy, rather than reflecting on how she could have been so credulous. This will likely also find her kindred spirits in the movement.
How about the gullibilty and douchebaggery of being a “Gay Republican”?
The GLAAD Media Awards which salute fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives in the media was held Saturday night in a glitzy and expensive ceremony at the Hyatt Regency. (Your donation dollars at work!) Winners – chosen from 152 nominees in 32 categories – were awarded at a March ceremony in New York, while the remainder will be presented at a San Francisco ceremony in June.Last nights ceremony spotlighted the “major” catagories.
Glee won “Best Comedy” and “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy told the audience that next season “Kurt” (Chris Colfer) would have a boyfriend and they would be school prom kings. (OMG, SPOILER MUCH MURPHY?!) Colfer who is is gay; along with lesbian actress Jane Lynch were both on hand.
Other winners included Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for outstanding reality program and “A Single Man” for outstanding wide release film. “A Single Man” director Tom Ford wasn’t on hand to receive his trophy. His partner Richard Buckley accepted the award on Ford’s behalf because the filmmaker was stranded in London thanks to the volcanic cloud of ash.
Constance McMillen, the lesbian Mississippi teenager who challenged her school district’s ban of same-sex prom dates, presented comedian-actress Wanda Sykes with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is given by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to an openly gay member of the entertainment community for their work toward eliminating homophobia.
“I’m willing to give this award to you,” Sykes teased McMillen, “but I’m not gonna do it. It means a lot to me.”
Also openly lesbian Iron Chef” Cat Cora presented actress-director Drew Barrymore with the Vanguard Award, which honors efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the gay community. “The thing that means the most to me about an evening like this, and why I want to fight and be outspoken about this is because there are so many people who are in desperate need of families,” Barrymore said.
Adam Lambert, the glam-rocking “American Idol” runner-up who raised eyebrows with his racy performance at last year’s American Music Awards, capped off the ceremony hosted by transgender actress Candis Cayne and gay actor Wilson Cruz with a performance of his tunes “Music Again” and “Fever.” He ended by pleading for diversity within the gay community. (Perhaps Adam should have pleaded for diversity within the human race.)
Another party for the elite held with your donations.
Openly lesbian celebrity chef Cat Cora, gay former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass and members of Green Day will be sponsoring a gay-friendly prom in Mississippi after a lesbian teen Constance McMillian was duped into attending a “fake prom” earlier this month.
The Tupelo, Miss. event, scheduled for May 8, is being organized by the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and is open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation. The group’s spokesman, Matthew Sheffield, told the Associated Press that Lance Bass will also be in attendance
The American Humanist Association also will contribute $20,000 for the May 8 event in Tupelo
And it’s going to be FABULASH!
UPDATED NAMES LIST – 04/08/2010
Lindsey Begley, is a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School with Constance McMillen. And in the comments section of La Figa she explained exactly why, after weeks of fighting for the right to attend prom with her girlfriend, Constance was, instead, sent — along with a handful of special education students — to a fake prom while the entire rest of the senior class went to the real prom. Doing EXACTLY the same thing happened to a black girl 45 years ago in Birmingham..
High School bigot Lindsey Begley explains why: “She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants.”
**Open Minded Readers Only**
I am a senior at IAHS, and I’ve known Constance for the last 6 years. Please hear our side of the story before you decide on our fate.
The party we had in Evergreen (the county neighborhood I live in) is 30 mins away from the school. we rented out the community center, hired vendors, decorated, and our parents ran the security/chaperone staff- but it wasn’t prom. Prom was at the country club where constance and 7 other students were. The reason the senior class boycotted the actual prom was not because we hate gays. We wanted a drama-free gathering to celebrate 3 great years and 1 lousy one together, and we wanted to lay low. We also wanted to do it without the main cause of the lousy. What people are failing to realize is that much of the fault of this whole stink lies with Constance, not her mistreatment by the school district, but her crazy-reckless need for attention. It sounds mean and horrible and like we planned it all specifically to embarrass Constance, but we didn’t. We let her have her prom with her girlfriend and her tuxedo and we went to party it up in the “boondocks” not because we wanted her rights violated, but so we could salvage what has turned into a total fiasco. As a whole we didn’t support her decision to throw the district under the bus, or her insinuations that we’re all just a bunch ‘a hicks driving around in beater pick up trucks spitting tobacco and burning crosses. IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her.
Take it as you will, because I’m sure it sounds like we faked her out, but understand this- the decision NOT to attend prom had nothing to do with the school or with Constance’s sexual preferences; it had everything to do with proving we weren’t going to let her and the ACLU steamroll us into doing what Constance wanted. We flexed the muscle of the majority and we’ll suffer the consequences.
Damn straight you and your classmates, parents and town will suffer the consequences Lindsey. Groups are popping up all over taking names and passing them along to colleges so they can see what type of evil little douchebags they have actually admitted to thier colleges. And hopefully publishing your names and your involvement in this action on the internet will haunt you in years to come when people do background checks and searches on you for employment. security reasons, housing and the likes. And I for one am not cutting you the slack that you are “kids”. You are vile little bigots who are the product os vile evil adults who all worked together to do this behind everyones backs intentionally.
So lets start naming names of these vile people in Fulton Missisppi ……..
Brittany Kay Brown
Cassandra Lee Maier
Angie Byrd Sherrer (Parent)
Holly byrd Sherrer
Mckenzie Mina King
James Colin Chatham
Stephanie Leigh Robinson
James Colin Chatham (James Chatham)
Jordan Lea Byrd (Jordan Byrd)
Victoria Danielle Sheffield (Victoria Sheffield)
Candice Brittany Garcia (Candice Garcia)
Candace Nicole George (Candace George)
Cassandra Lee Maier (Cassandra Maier)
Alexandria Marie Miller (Alexandria Miller)
Alison Renae Gaddy (Alison Gaddy)
Jasna Miandria Clay (Jasna Clay)
Stephanie Leigh Robinson (Stephanie Robinson)
Alex Davis (graduated 2009)
*Sarah Dial … who wrote the following on her Facebook page …
“I think some certain people need to have the living crap beat out of them!!!”
Then underneath that, she wrote (spelling mistakes are hers, not mine):
“definately think we know who this status is talking about..Not naming any names. CONSTANCE!”
And, according to the facebook profiles for the “secret prom” attendees you see the same pages recurring in their profiles:
Greenville Christian School
The Charleston Baptist Congregation
Little Creek Baptist Church
“I’m Proud To Be Christian” by Aaron Chavez Religious Center
Prayer In School Religious Center
I Love Jesus Religious Center
Freedom Rally 2010 “A call to Revival”
Dedicated to Christ
Going to Church Religious Center
God is Love Religious Organization
Jesus Daily Religious Organization
I’m a Christian & I’m Proud Religious Organization
The Resolve Tour Religious Organization
ChristBuild Inc Religious Organization
Christ In Action Non-Profit
You can see that these self-righteous haters are very proud of their religious associations. Hope these organizations are proud of their evil little minions.
More to come……..
(Photographic/screenshot evidence for the vast majority of the names provided above is currently available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/49081507@N02/.
Other evidence is currently available at http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2010/04/05/the-meanest-town-in-america-fake-prom-for-lesbian-student/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Constance-quit-yer-cryin/367776042862 and on prom-themed profile pictures at http://www.facebook.com/srch.php?hs=33573994&hr=2010)
*Many thanks to wolf-kells for the Sarah Dial info
Constance McMillen went to the Itawamba Agricultural High School prom at the Fulton Country Club, but she was one of the few to attend the event. McMillen said she arrived at the dance an hour-and-a-half after it began and stayed for about 30 minutes. She said she saw six other students and several school officials while she was there. Meanwhile, many more Itawamba AHS students went to an event held at the community center in Evergreen, another community in Itawamba County. McMillen said she knew about that event but that when she asked another student if she was invited, the student told her, ‘the prom is at the country club.’ … ‘I took that as no,’ McMillen said. ‘If I wasn’t wanted there, I wasn’t going to go.'”
Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said her organization was still gathering details about what happened Friday night to determine whether they would ask Davidson for sanctions. At the least, Bennett said the details about Friday’s prom would be used in the organization’s damages suit against the district, which is still being developed.
Next to be contacted should be the teachers union since obviously the school itself was in on it and also college admissions committees should take note and see if they have any student who knowingly participated in such a fraud and such an overt act of discrimination. Most colleges and Universities strive towards respect for diversity, and these students have made their quality of character clear. I would even consider this action grounds for rescinding an offer of admission as incompatible with the ideals and expectations of my institution. (But then again the closest these bigoted hick kids will get to college is probably “college ruled” notebooks in Aisle 3 of the Walmart where they will eventually work.)
In the words of Phil Ochs: “Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of”
And to the bigoted. hateful, and ignorant kids, parents, and staff at the who were involved in this outrageous and disgusting evemt……..
Constance McMillen the Mississippi lesbian high school student who was not only denied by school officials in Itawamba County to take another girl to the prom but in wake of the media attention the school also canceleed the prom for all students. Constance talked with Wanda Skyes on her show Satrurday night
Wanda is receiving the Stephen F. Kolzak award from GLAAD at their L.A. awards show on April 17, and invited Constance and her girlfriend to present it to her.
Also The American Humanist Association has recieved $20,0000 in donations from two of its members to hold a prom for all the students in small minded Itawamba County Mississippi. Talks about logistics are underway.