Ethics Dunce: Itawamba County, Miss. School Board; Ethics Hero: Constance McMillan

It will be interesting, as well as depressing, to see how many innocent bystanders are injured as various institutions and organizations emulate Washington D.C.’s Catholic Charities’ “solution” to its objection to  gay Americans having legally enforced rights to do what anyone else can. That organization’s draconian solution was that if a benefit can’t be withheld from gays, then the benefit isn’t worth giving. Thus, because it believed that providing health benefits to the now legally recognized same-sex spouses of gay employees would imply endorsement of conduct it considers sinful, the charity eliminated spousal benefits for all new employees, harming the innocent to show contempt for…well, the innocent.

Who could pass up logic and justice like that? Not the Itawamba County, Miss. school board! Faced with the threat of an A.C.L.U. effort, certain to prevail, to overturn a school ban and ensure that a lesbian student could attend her high school prom with a female date, the board decided to “do a Catholic Charities” and cancel the senior prom for everyone. Constance McMillan, the student whose desire to attend her class prom dressed in a tuxedo sparked the controversy, returned to school this week, where she said some students blamed her “for ruining their year.”

Of course they do. This sort of scenario leads directly to the “you had to go and spoil it for everyone” accusation. She couldn’t go to the prom, so she made it so nobody could go to the prom. Isn’t that what happened?

No, it’s not. What happened is that a group of irresponsible adults decided to misuse their power to stop one young woman from experiencing one of life’s special social moments with someone she liked, for no better reason than bigotry and ignorance. Then, rather than obey the Constitution, they decided to not only victimize every high-school senior, but to do it in a way that made that innocent young woman a target of resentment and anger, probably for a long time to come.

They apparently do not teach the Golden Rule in Itawamba County.

When one individual’s  human rights are threatened, every individual’s rights are at risk. If the school was a better one, maybe Constance’s fellow students would understand that. If they understood that, perhaps they would launch a serious protest at the real villains in the story, the school board. Constance did the ethical and courageous thing by standing up for her rights. So far, she’s the only one.

3 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Itawamba County, Miss. School Board; Ethics Hero: Constance McMillan

  1. I’m always blindsided by incidents such as this wherein not one person, but a group of people (a school board, no less) could vote in favor of something that is so obviously wrong.
    Is it “group think” (with a leader holding the reins) or is each individual so self righteous that they find nothing wrong with canceling a once-in-a-lifetime event for these teenagers because one lesbian student wanted to bring a date?

  2. Pingback: New Vistas in Cruelty, Bigotry and Segregation in Itawamba County « Ethics Alarms

  3. Pingback: Let Us Not Forget Itawamba County, Miss. « Ethics Alarms

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