It’s not clear exactly how many gays and lesbians are currently roaming the halls of Sullivan High School in rural Sullivan, Indiana. Nevertheless, a group of students and parents doesn’t want a single one of them at the high school prom this year.
On Sunday, the students and parents met along with a smattering of other community members at the Sullivan First Christian Church, reports WTWO, the NBC affiliate in Terre Haute. They want to raise money for a separate, “traditional” prom that only allows heterosexuals.
Sullivan High School itself presumably would not be involved with a prom that bans certain students from attending.
The participating students believe there is a large contingent among the 600 or so students at Sullivan High School who agree with them. They say those students are fearful of speaking out as they now have.
“If we can get a good prom then we can convince more people to come and follow what they believe,” letter jacket-wearing student Kynon Johnson told WTWO.
“We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” Bonnie McCammon, another student, added.
Diana Medley, a local special education teacher, told the station that many locals are offended by homosexuality. Medley, who believes everyone is born straight, disapproves of homosexuality.
“We don’t agree with it and it’s offensive to us,” the straights-only prom advocate said.
Medley was asked if she thinks gay people “have a purpose in life.”
“No I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t. I don’t understand it,” the special education teacher answered. “A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.”
Several local pastors also endorse the movement for a separate prom.
“Christians have always been prepared for a fight,” said Pastor Bill Phegley of Carlisle Christian Church. “Jesus gave us armor for the front, not the back; we’re not running anymore.”
Other people in Sullivan and the surrounding area reject the idea of a prom that excludes gays and lesbians. For that point of view, WTWO chose a local man named Jim Davis. The station identified him as a “local Christian” and he couched his arguments in religious terms.
“We shouldn’t be condemning people, and that’s what judgment is,” Davis said. “Christ came to save the people not to condemn them.”
Davis observed that everyone is a sinner according to Christian theological doctrine. He suggested that homosexuality is a sin, but no different from any other sins.
“The feeling of being loved and belonging is universal,” he added.
Opponents of a private prom that bans gays have already started a Facebook page called “Support the Sullivan High School Prom for All Students.” The number of “likes” for the page is rapidly increasing.
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