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Indiana

Ind. students, parents want to hold ‘traditional prom,’ ban gay students

Special Ed teacher says gays have no purpose in life
Sunday, February 10, 2013

SULLIVAN, Ind. — A group of high school students and parents rallied Sunday at a local church in Sullivan, Ind., calling for a “traditional” high school prom that bans gay students from attending.

Officials at Sullivan High School say there’s nothing they can do legally to prevent gay students from attending the school prom, and that has prompted students and parents to take matters into their own hands, reported WTWO-TV.

“We don’t agree with it and it’s offensive to us,” said Diana Medley, a special education teacher at North Central High School in neighboring Farmersburg, Ind, who attended the meeting Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.

Medley told WTWO-TV that she believes homosexuality is a choice, that no one is born gay.

“I don’t believe that they were born that way. I believe that it was life circumstances and they chose to be that way; God created everyone equal,” said Medley.

“I have kids come to me because of their sexual preference and they know I don’t agree with it, but I care about you. And the same thing for special needs. You know, God puts those people in our life for different reasons.”

Asked by WTWO-TV reporter Paige Preusse if “the same goes for gays? Do you think they have a purpose in life?” Medley responded: “I personally don’t, I’m sorry. I just don’t understand it… A gay student, or adult, or person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s because they realize, ‘You know what, it was a choice and I’m choosing God.’”

The group is working to raise the funds to hold their own “traditional” prom, exclusive of gay students, and has also stared a Facebook group “2013 Sullivan Traditional Prom.”

Several local pastors support the separate prom movement.

“Christians have always been prepared for a fight. Jesus gave us armor for the front, not the back; we’re not running anymore,” said Bill Phegley with Carlisle Church.

But some residents say they disagree, and said the group is just casting stones, instead of spreading love.

Update: The Facebook group referenced above has since been hidden or deleted. An alternate page has been created by supporters of an LGBT-inclusive prom.

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103 more reader comments:

  1. Not in this state Bigots

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:33pm
  2. Then these ‘traditionalists’ should have their own prom….But be banned from the normal one! Ha!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:34pm
  3. Scared inbreds

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:34pm
  4. WTF?? A prom is just dancing!! It is not like Gay students plan on doing it in front of everyone.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  5. Traditional proms always had about 5-10% gay and lesbian kids…. only the gay and lesbian used to feel it necessary to stay in the closet, hide their true selves.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  6. fuck you we are not aliens we are people exactly like you and those kids deserve their prom their way

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  7. o.O so traditional prom has people staring at their smartphones instead of dancing?

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  8. I feel like sometimes things wont change :( but i will always defend you lgbt because i love and respect you <3

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:35pm
  9. The Diana Medley mentioned in the article shouldn’t even be allowed to be a teacher. If she has these opinions, how is she belittling, demeaning, and harming the students in her classroom? Even worse, she’s a special education teacher, so she is often dealing with the most vulnerable in the school population. What a disgrace!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:36pm
  10. So sad that people can’t mind their own business and go their own way. How bout that bitch who said it’s offensive. Lol so sad!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:36pm
  11. this smacks of WBC funded movement

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:36pm
  12. very christianly of them

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:37pm
  13. This is disgusting

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:39pm
  14. That’s horrible.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:39pm
  15. It’s just rural Indiana.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:39pm
  16. They need to pull their heads out of their bibles, and realize the United States was founded on peoples basic freedoms, we weren’t a country founded on taking away people rights to be happy. It’s starting to just get annoying. They know gay marriage and gay right will happen, but yet they’ll be left out standing on their own for being bigots!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:39pm
  17. Everyone was born different! whether they be gay, straight, bi, lesbian, or trans they are different! God made us this way so suck it up and shut up! be the better person and see the hate you spread when you say these hurtful things. Don’t spout about god if you haven’t met him or had a conversation with him. How would you know how he feels and says! XP

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:39pm
  18. Good job, Indiana. You’ve officially put yourself above Texas on my shit list.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:40pm
  19. let them have it in their church. but they better not use any school funds for it at all pay for it out of their own pockets. the little hate mongers

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:40pm
  20. Every gay person in that town should show up to the prom, and start dancing with each other, completely overrun the straights, and drive ‘em out.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:41pm
  21. FUCK THEM!!! US GAY STUDENTS DANCE WAY BETTER THAN THOSE HOMOPHOBIC FREAKS!!! We’ll have our own dance..

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:41pm
  22. That’s just horrible.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:45pm
  23. anybody know how to get ahold of Diana Medley?

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:46pm
  24. I smell a nice “lol fuck you” law suit. I just love how they think constitutional rights don’t apply to them. Silly fundies.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:46pm
  25. Gotta love “traditional” discrimination. Amazing how they justify unethical behaviour and attitudes with tradition, as if it’s something to be proud of.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:48pm
  26. How on earth would these bigots enforce such a rule anyway? Dumb.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:48pm
  27. Absolutely pathetic. But not surprising. When will this kind of crap stop?

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:49pm
  28. reading writing arithmetic tolerance acceptance .

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:50pm
  29. Some people just get stuck in time

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:52pm
  30. Why do I suspect the grown-ups put the kids up to this? Be that as it may, if they want to hold their own hateful rump prom off-campus they’re free to do so. I’m willing to bet most of the kids will go to the official school prom, though! It’s kind of mystifying, though — how many gay kids could there be in a small town like Sullivan, anyway, who’d be going to the prom? Two? These little bible-thumpers better grow up, because the real world isn’t going to protect them from culture shock, I’m afraid!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:56pm
  31. not everything godly is holy.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:57pm
  32. so this is a PROM for a school but they are rallying at a church? Hmmm. GO FIGURE. thought churches were meant to be “God”‘s way to bring HUMANs together in love… guess I was wrong. lol

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:57pm
  33. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:57pm
  34. Nice. Teach hate to kids. Well done American parents. Shame shame shame

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:58pm
  35. Evidentially, they don’t believe in separation of church and state. The church does not support public schools… The state does.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 9:59pm
  36. If anyone from that school reads these comments try this!

    Have your own prom, invite gay allies also! Get gay ally teachers and parents to chaperon! Do it separately, but also invite them and be generous. Volunteer to help both proms. In the end you are a hero, even if they don’t break their walls of ignorance down.

    Don’t let their discrimination and bigotry get to you, it’s what they want!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:00pm
  37. Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:00pm
  38. I thought that it was traditional to have some gay students at Prom?

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:02pm
  39. Yet another of the many reasons why I can’t wait until we can get the hell out of this state. Ridiculous. I won’t associate myself with that grade of bigoted evil. Next place we move to, I might find out if there are any local programs I can volunteer for that help lgbt victims of reparative therapy, ridicule, and abuse from family and society.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:08pm
  40. Tell Diana Medley what you think! Email her here: medleyd@nesc.k12.in.us

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:22pm
  41. Well then… the choreography, music, flowers, dresses, hair, food, make up and lighting will be shitty as Hell. You realize that a dance is about as gay as it gets. Who do you think has been making the big bucks off all these breeder weddings all these years here in Indiana?

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:23pm
  42. Gee.. when people online ask me where I’m from.. Is it any surprise I don’t ever mention exactly what state I’m in? I went to a ‘traditional’ prom in the 80′s.. with a friend who didn’t get asked, because you had to buy the tickets in pairs.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:23pm
  43. Ugh sad to say I live in this state

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:26pm
  44. I hope they only play music from artists that do not support my community.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:26pm
  45. This is why my theatre friends and I skipped prom… we had an 80′s themed prom/party and drank wine coolers and ate cookies while watching The Breakfast Club and listening to Cindy Lauper. It kicked ass!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:27pm
  46. Bastards! If lgbt students can’t go to prom in their own high school in that small town, then the straight students shouldn’t get one! Teach them & their parents a lesson. That’s pretty sad! I am queer & went to a small town high school in Indiana. Those of us who were lgbt tended to stick to our own. Safety in numbers, sometimes I hate this state.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:35pm
  47. Hate. A traditional family value.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:37pm
  48. This is about as ridiculous, ignorant, and un-Christ-like as you can get. What a pathetic bunch. I can’t wait till their kids hit the real world and find out what losers they (and their parents and fundie pastors) really are. Hopefully, once they realize that, they’ll figure life out and be able to successfully navigate happy and productive lives.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:37pm
  49. I danced with a boy on my junior senior prom in high school in 2000 and nothing bad happen after that. I don’t see a problem with gays going to a prom at all.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:43pm
  50. Boo hisssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:46pm
  51. The school is holding an all-inclusive prom, but a few christians don’t want to associate with gays so they’re holding a separate prom?

    Haven’t they been going to school with these same fellow students all year? Is there that much hatred in the school that isn’t being addressed through some action committee to reduce the hate?

    This community needs to be examined thoroughly to find the source of all this hate.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:48pm
  52. No that day is gone

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:01pm
  53. No you can’t do that

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:02pm
  54. Ignorant bigots.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:03pm
  55. Why do fundamentalist Christians not believe in a man and wife having sex standing up? ………? Because it might lead to heathen dancing!

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:09pm
  56. I think some spankings are in order.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:21pm
  57. Seriously ….. in 2013??¿¿??

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:26pm
  58. Apparently the woman who wants this all to happen is a special education teacher named Diana Medley. Lets all ban together and force her out of her out of her teaching license… she doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near any children… let alone, vulnerable ones.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:30pm
  59. Ban gay students from Prom? WTH?? That discrimination and under the law can’t be done. Wasting your time Indy…..,

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:07am
  60. This is ridiculous how ignorant these people are. Instead of spread love and respect they are just creating more hate

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:23am
  61. Sad, really.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:50am
  62. Keep level heads and seek sound legal advice. Yours is not the first high school to tackle this issue. That will help your cause.
    Secondly, you are as normal as the next person. The older you get and further removed you are from small minds, the more likely you’ll be to meet people who don’t see you as gay, straight, rich, poor, a person of colour, Caucasian, or sky-blue pink with a yellow-green border. You are a human being. We all are, even the scary narrow-minded ones. Remain positive and keep doing good works.

    Finally, could someone else please claim the trophy for ignorance and intolerance. As an Indiana native, I am saddened that some of our citizens do not live up to the ideal of Hoosier hospitality.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:17am
  63. Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:45am
  64. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
    Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
    ABE LINCOLN

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:59am
  65. The reason why the “christians” don’t want to acknowledge that people are born with same gender attraction is that they would have to admit that God make them. If God made them with same sex attraction, then they are God’s children as much as straight people. This the “christians” rail against because it flies in the face of their blatant discrimination and hatred which must to them be “christian” values. (Putting “christian” is lower case was intended.)

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2:34am
  66. wow is all i got

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2:54am
  67. flunk all the homophobs! they all get an F in social science…& havent learned any thing about love!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 3:27am
  68. dislike!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 5:28am
  69. i raise them one rainbow prom. cant wait! 3/30/13

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 5:45am
  70. Isn’t it something, Christ did not exclude yet people today use Religion as their cloak of hatred and racism.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 6:06am
  71. Indiana…as always…owie-zowie-oh-my-god.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7:11am
  72. I wonder what they’ll do if the ‘traditional’ prom has only a dozen people, most of them not even in high school…? The article says, “Officials at Sullivan High School say there’s nothing they can do legally to prevent gay students from attending the school prom…” Kudos to the school (excluding that bigot teacher) for not bowing down before hatred. There are plenty of places where they would have banned them anyway.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7:15am
  73. didnt ryan white live in IN, so this doesnt surprise me only saddens

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7:48am
  74. and yes I am aware Ryan wasnt gay, but his state is still bigoted

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 7:49am
  75. Wow Idiots!!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 8:33am
  76. It is time to start reading, talking and leaning about LGBT for all of us. Being LGBT is not a choice it is a title given to precious people that God created to be just the people they are.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 9:37am
  77. it is indianna afterall!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:24am
  78. That’s bullshit.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:24am
  79. jerks

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:25am
  80. IGNORANCE, INTOLERANCE, BIGOTRY, HATE!! I bet their parents didn’t let the black students attend prom in their era!!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:25am
  81. not only are they bigots but they clearly dont know their history … the supreme struck down the concept of separate but equal

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:27am
  82. its also a violation of the equal access act considering that the prom could be considered an extra curricular

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:28am
  83. BOO HISS!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:29am
  84. its horrible to deny someone the right to prom because of there sexuality. HOW crazy! Casting judgement and hatred for what? They should be ASHAMED of themselves!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:30am
  85. That figures they are religious. Religious people are the biggest sinners and bigots as well as hypocrites and full of prejudice. They believe in fictional bs for goodness sakes. It’s sick!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:33am
  86. Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:36am
  87. “Jesus gave us armor for the front.” NOT FOR THIS, HE DIDN’T!
    Since there are millions of Christians who accept AND affirm our LGBT brothers and sisters, this group CANNOT claim their discrimination is because they’re “christians.” They need to own their bigotry, and quit blaming Jesus!
    I’m sure if they tried to ban interracial couples, they’d never get away with it. Neither should they get away with this.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:36am
  88. We are so proud of our first ever lesbian premier!!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:36am
  89. Its a public school if they dont want to have a prom with gay students dont go to a public school. But sadly it is Indiana I guess not much changes over the years :(

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:37am
  90. I am so tired of this the prom is for all students not just the hetero ones. Why can’t all the students enjoy their prom together gay and straight united for one night.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:38am
  91. Jesus did not give armor to anyone to be an asshole. Whether we’re born gay or not, you’re not born a fucking cunt. That’s a real choice right there. Why don’t you go to your prom and ignore the gays if it’s so offensive. I don’t see them holding a rally to get rid of “traditional” proms. Stupid!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:38am
  92. In the Arab countries, gay people are hanged for public viewing. Hope you stand with Israel !!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 11:44am
  93. So WRONG!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:01pm
  94. What a bunch of ignorant, backwards people!

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:12pm
  95. Were you born with all that hate or was that just a choice?

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:20pm
  96. Sercousily, I’ve l

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:31pm
  97. lived in indiana my whole life and their were a bunch of gay couples at are prom. My sister went witb her girlfriend and i went with my friend who we joke that were married and call each wife and we went to the.prom together

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:34pm
  98. I’m sorry but everyone is NOT created equal, as she said otherwise. If we were all created equal then this would be a non-issue.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:21pm
  99. Disgusting narrow minded people.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:23pm
  100. Could we just give them an island to go live on.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:24pm
  101. every bit of these open displays of hate are in direct violation of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of HUMAN RIGHTS written by Elenor Roosevelt in 1948! stating that all members of the human family are created equal.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:34pm
  102. people have the right to their opinion and relgion, but acting upon them to hurt others is not their right.

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 1:37pm
  103. Typical case of “we know what’s best for you” and “we hurt you because we love you”, which is worse than just flat out saying “we’re underhandedly trying to take your rights because we hate and fear you.” The more violent and underhanded someone gets, the more obvious it is that they’re scared out of their minds. Their hate has been carefully cultivated their whole lives and when something threatens their safe little bubble, they flip out and pull every dirty trick out of their already skeleton-filled closets to get rid of it and keep things the way they “were.” Who’s “demons” do they think they’re fighting? Their victims in the lgbt community? Or are they fighting their own because they’re so narrow minded that they don’t know what else to do?

    Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2:45pm