Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mishawaka Catholic School Says No To Same-Sex Prom Guest

Amanda Howe, 18, didn't want to go alone to her high school prom this year at Marian High School in Mishawaka so she invited her best friend, Justine Werley, who graduated from the same high school last year as her guest. But when school officials inquired about her guest, she was told she could not bring Werley because she was of the same-sex according to the South Bend Tribune. "We're not trying to go as a couple or anything," Howe said. "So I don't see why they're having a problem with this." Here's more on this story:

Marian officials said Tuesday that in the past, the school has accepted only traditional dates for the prom and semi-formal dance, and that policy has never changed." "It's just basically a tradition," said Janet Hatfield, administrative assistant/discipline at Marian High School. "When you think of a formal dance ... you think of the opposite sex."

Howe recalled that two of her female friends last year brought same-sex friends to the school's semi-formal dance without any complications. Marian Principal Carl Loesch said he didn't recall that."If it was a couples thing," Howe said, "I don't even know why they would bother with singles tickets."

Loesch said he was surprised the same-sex couple issue arose in the first place because "in the building, it's not an issue." This is the first time such an issue has been brought up, he said."

The policy's never changed," Loesch said. "It's the same policy we've had. Students are allowed to come singly. Students are allowed to come with a date. Students can come in a group. But we allow traditional dating" . . .

Howe said she might attend the prom with other friends, or she and Werley might simply get dressed up and go to the movies or go out to eat instead.

Bill Howe, Amanda's father, said school administrators had discussed with him the possibility of reimbursing Werley's $30 ticket. But Loesch declined to comment on that Tuesday.

"I think (Catholic schools are) becoming more and more afraid that they're going to have gay couples at their event," Bill Howe said.

I think Bill Howe hits the nail on the head with that last quote.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It’s a catholic school and they are bound to follow church doctrine. Obviously the school officials feel that this "date" is inappropriate for a school function. And they have every right..it's a private school. What’s next? An article blasting the church because they do not allow the students to have abortions or some other attack on church’s other views concerning sex? Mr. A/I..I like your site, and support your position on gay rights but you need to let people practice their faith in peace. If this girl wants to do things like bring a special friend to school functions then she should have enrolled in a public school.

Wilson46201 said...

... and if a "church" opposes 'racial-mixing' and refuses to allow students with 'one drop of Black blood' to enroll, that'd be OK with you too? What if a Catholic school refused to allow Episcopalian, Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim students to enroll? Where does society draw the line in letting bad behavior be permitted by excuses of religious doctrine?

Polygamy was a core theological tenet of the Mormons but nevertheless illegal. The Mormons officially dropped it eventually after legal and societal pressure...

Anonymous said...

anon 7:39 - This girl wasn't trying to bring the girl as her date. The school sold singles tickets and she simply wanted to enjoy the evening with a friend who happened to be a girl.

Think girls night out.

A good example of how paranoia over gays really does have an effect on straight folk as well.

donna said...

anonymous 7:39
"What’s next? An article blasting the church because they do not allow the students to have abortions or some other attack on church’s other views concerning sex?Mr. A/I..I like your site, and support your position on gay rights but you need to let people practice their faith in peace."

I read AI's post twice and I didn't see any "blasting" taking place. AI is simply relating what took place at Marion High School.

True, Marion High School is a private school and the administrators have a right to run their school according to their religious doctrine. Times are changing and not every child attending Marion comes from a "traditional" family. There are students of different faiths, students with one parent, students with divorced parents, etc, and probably students with different sexual-orientations. I understand their stance based on the Catholic doctrine. I am Catholic but I don't believe two same-sex students who want to attend a prom is going to corrupt and make my child "gay".

This story isn't even about two students who are "gay", they just want to go to the prom together. The message this sends is that in the future to avoid this hassle they only need to get two single tickets then go together anyway.

Personally, I would much prefer that administrators put more time and energy into a creating a better music program at Marion.

Advance Indiana said...

I have no problem letting them practice their faith. The story was published in the South Bend Tribune. It's the church which keeps invoking itself into these public debates. The archdiocese with jurisdiction over this school intervened last year to kill a human rights ordinance before the South Bend city council. The church invoked itself into the gay marriage debate, supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and other rights for unmarried couples.

Wilson46201 said...

Sadly, too many churches try to intervene in MY life but when I object, I am accused of trying to persecute them for their religious beliefs. Victimology 101.

This has got to stop!

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE, AI is blasting the church. Or stated more accurately, he is TRYING to blast the church. Why? Because he hates the church. Sure, he'll claim otherwise. But look at his post at 8:47 for one simple example.

AI writes: "It's the church which keeps invoking itself into these public debates."

What in the world do you expect?????? The Church has been trying since it was founded to impact public policy. Indeed, that is true of almost every religion. And whether AI likes it or not, the Church has had an incredible influence on forming the society in which we all live. To suggest otherwise or to fail to see this, as AI so often does, is to admit a gross misunderstanding of history. Not religion, which he also misunderstands, but HISTORY.

Yet, as the Church continues to do what it always has done, it is actually AI and groups like MCC who are trying to interfere with and change the Church!

Marian High School doesn't deserve accolades for this situation, so I won't offer that. All they did was follow a common and very reasonable policy. Had they deviated from that policy, they would have deserved a grand does of criticism. Of course, people like AI would have cheered them loudly for violating that standard and for failing to uphold a standard that is inconsistent with Church expectations.

Again, as is far too common here, the hyprocrisy is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Geez, you do know why they didn't buy single tickets. The girl IN the school can go, the one who graduated could NOT. (NOT a student any more. ) Besides they ALWAYS charge more for single tickets, to encourage the idea that it's a COUPLES dance and you're a loser without a significant other.

Simple. Not hate. Just policy.

donna said...

This is a bit off story but to be clear on what the South Bend Human Rights Commission ordinance is all about:

"It is the public policy of the City of South Bend to provide all of its citizens equal opportunity for education, employment, access to public conveniences and accommodations, and acquisition through purchase or rental of real property including, but not limited to, housing, and to eliminate segregation or separation based solely on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, or ancestry."

"based solely on" is the key. Where is someone to go who has been denied housing or terminated from employment "based solely on" their sexual-orientation? Is this more just than doing the same "based solely on" someone's religion? An individual who is discriminated against "based solely on" their religion can seek help through the SB Human Rights Commission. A person discriminated against because of their sexual-orientation has absolutely no place to seek help.

The fear from the church and opponents was that including sexual-orientation in the ordinance would lead to same-sex marriage and polygamy for which there is no basis. So to error on the side of "fear" rather than humanity it is far better to disenfranchise human beings.

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Donna. You really should stick to your pattern of responding to others. Your attempt to offer an "original thought" made no sense whatsoever. Did you even read it before hitting the "publish" button? For your sake, I hope not.

donna said...

Poor poor Anonymous 10:59

Advance Indiana said...
"I have no problem letting them practice their faith. The story was published in the South Bend Tribune. It's the church which keeps invoking itself into these public debates. The archdiocese with jurisdiction over this school intervened last year
---NOTE THIS SECTION --------
to kill a human rights ordinance before the South Bend city council.
The church invoked itself into the gay marriage debate, supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and other rights for unmarried couples. "
-----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Donna,

I know you actually think you are making some sort of point, but so far you are not. All I can interpret from your post is that the situation at Marian may be a very good reason why these goofy ordinances should not be passed. If a Catholic school's prom attendance policy might possibly be impacted by such things, then they ought to be repealed immediately and no others ever passed again. Even the advocates of such ordinances have argued repeatedly that churches would not be impacted by them. So what else could you mean?

But surely - surely! - that was not your point. Perhaps you should either try again (third time's the charm?), or maybe you should heed the previous advice and avoid original thoughts.

donna said...

Poor poor Anonymous 12:22 PM

We'll pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Kinda hard to get all lathered up over this.

It's a PRIVATE school for a reason. I don't agree with it, which is why I send my kids to PUBLIC schools.

And there had better not be a dime of public money flowing through that school.

I believe some youth groups, like IYG here, sponsor proms for gay students. And I'd bet they're more tolerant of those who are different, than most schools are vice-versa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for heeding the advice, Donna. This discussion will be better as a result.

paula said...

"...groups like MCC who are trying to interfere with and change the Church

By MCC do you mean Metropolitan Community Church?

If so, you do know that MCC is a church, right? Or do you only define "Church" as the one that conveniently matches your world view?

THAT is the exact situation the founding fathers were afraid of and why there should be a distinct line between the pulpit and the politician.

Anonymous said...

>THAT is the exact situation the founding fathers were afraid of and why there should be a distinct line between the pulpit and the politician.

Proving yet again that people on this blog will jump through all kinds of hoops to change history. Most of the founding fathers were very active Christians who saw Christianity as a key component of our society. The concern back then was about one Christian church being mandated over another Christian church, as had been done in England. This language about "distinct lines" is a modern phonomenon. Their language was "establishment."' Very, very different.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:43, I don't know whose US History class you attended, but you need to go back.

Jefferson, Franklin, Barr and JQ Adams, in their personal writing, decried the over-reaching attempts at dominance by the mother Church of England. They specifically said, on multiple occasions, that any faith, and NO faith, would be acceptable, for the new nation. They worked hard to make sure the Constitution recognized that.

Let's stick to facts, OK?

Wilson46201 said...

The Metropolitan Community Church is OK with homosexuality - the Holy Roman Catholic Church thinks its an abomination. Let them "duke it out" -- it's NONE of the American government's business to take sides in such church disputes. To make law based on a one-sided theological viewpoint is unconstitutional.

When is Brian Bosma going to try get a law passed proclaiming the Pope is indeed quite fallible? That's be just as wrong as SJR7 passage based on some religious text!

Anonymous said...

7:27 must have gotten his history from a billboard.

Anonymous said...

No, he didn't. But I am sure you got yours from a Dobson pamphlet. No wonder my hair is gone, from tearing it out over the lunacy pushed as historical truth.

Nearly all the founding fathers expressed some type of faith. But they were ADAMANT about keeping ONE Faith or denomination from dominating all the others.

Like it or not, YOUR Faith may not jive with mine. And the Bill of Rights was set up specifically to make sure that YOU cannot control MY practices.

It also means that in the public space, all have equal access to all accommodations.

But this school can do whatever it likes. It's private.

Not everything rises to the level of discrimination (that can be tackled by public bodies). It's clearly discrimination, but when you enter a private school, you choose to abide by their rules. Suck it up or change the rules FROM WITHIN.