Lesbians at Prom

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I found a couple of interesting articles regarding personal liberties and the rights and obligations of the government, specifically a school. As I went off on some school officials a few weeks back for suspending a student for exercising her first amendment right of free speech, I'll comment on the school in Jackson Mississippi that canceled their prom, rather than allow a Lesbian couple to attend.


Basically, a Lesbian wanted to bring her girlfriend to prom and wear a Tuxedo. The school said it violated their rules, and when pressed with the fact that they were discriminating against the girl because of her sexual orientation, the school decided to cancel the prom rather than allow two Lesbians to attend as a couple.

There is, of course, some analog to this virtually every year. Last year, I believe there was a school in Georgia that canceled Prom rather than having a mixed-race dance. It gets national news play, as it should, and the local school board is shamed nationally for being 40-50 years behind the times, and life goes on.

In this instance, however, the young girl is suing and asking the courts to set a dangerous precedent. She's asking the court to order the school to host the dance, and allow her to attend. The problem is, (IMHO) the school is no longer discriminating against the girl. They've been backed into a corner, either do something they don't want to do, or do something illegal. In this instance, they canceled the prom to avoid allowing a Lesbian to attend, but they've treated all students equally.

The school administration should (IMHO) be ashamed of themselves for being backward... but school administrators are in the business of educating children, not hosting proms. If the school had simply decided (for some other reason, e.g. budget) not to host a prom in the first place, no court would intervene and force them to do so, because proms aren't necessary to running a school correctly.

If the court does intervene and force the school to host the prom, they will have crossed the line from prohibiting unlawful behavior to dictating the requirements of running a school. Can't afford a music program? All it takes is for some aspiring diva to sue and reinstate the program. After all, the administration was discriminating against me because I was (fill in the blank). That's really why they canceled the program. Budgets be damned, school administrator's judgment be damned, the courts, unelected, will legislate as they please!

And now, to put an exclamation point on my flights of slippery-slope hysteria, we'll examine the link where Dutch nurses have to campaign against a push to require them to provide sexual services for their patients. I kid you not. I checked the date, it's not April 1st. Maybe April 1st is pushed up a few weeks in Holland.

Could you imagine, some disabled guy suing a nurse because she wouldn't provide him with sexual services? Could you imagine a country with a legal precedent in support of forcing the nurse to provide those services, because after all, some other nurses do. It's the same concept as the prom question. An auxiliary service was being offered by some nurses, while other nurses didn't want to offer that service. If a court crosses the line from prohibiting behavior to requiring behavior, you've turned the courts from a judicial body into an unelected legislative body.

And finally, back to the Jackson school district. I'll note that some appropriate responses are mentioned in the article. A New Orleans hotel owner is planning to host a prom (at which the Lesbian couple would presumably be welcomed) and some of the townsfolk are also talking about hosting another prom (at which the townsfolk could enforce their sense of proper comportment). As in a great many things, the private market offers a sensible solution.