Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Prom is about fun, friends, and homophobia

In its efforts to make sure that its homophobia is well-understood, a local high school has managed to prevent students from bringing their friends to the prom, unless of course that friend is someone they can make babies with. Yes, they have banned same-sex dates at the prom. And the funny thing is the girl who is challenging the policy just wants to have a platonic friend as a date:

Sherrell Ingram, who helped organize the prom, noticed a sign detailing the rule against same-sex prom ticket purchases last month, just as her mother was about to buy her and her best friend tickets. Sherrell and the girl have been best friends since the sixth grade, when Sherrell moved to Texas. Sherrell said she is not a lesbian, but has gay friends and thinks the policy discriminates against them.

The denials are weird, to say the least. Apparently, they didn't mean to discriminate against platonic female friends or even lesbians, just the hoardes of young men who would bring other young men on dates:

When Ingram's mother asked for an explanation, she said a teacher told her that officials were afraid that there could be trouble at the prom if male students brought male friends who don't attend the school.

There might be trouble, indeed. It isn't unknown for teenage boys to get their panties in a wad when they see two guys on a date together. But discriminating against the victims is not a cure--kicking out any student who has a problem with another student's choice of date is a much better solution. If they are afraid of hoardes of male students from other schools filling up the dance by coming with their friends, then they could do what my high school did and limit each student to one guest. Their denials sound like so much bullshit, and, under Title IX, gender discrimination like this is also illegal.
Hopefully this won't turn into one of those standoffs where the school just chooses to shut down extracurricular activities instead of actually having to obey the law. Tough to say. It amazes me how inside my city laid-back and liberal rules the day, but step three feet outside of city limits and all of a sudden you're back in Southern Baptist territory.


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