Bigotry vs. the Net

A Mississippi school has canceled Senior Prom because a highly photogenic lesbian student asked to bring her girlfriend as her date.  In the now long dead past the student would be at best utterly ostracized by her peers for being the cause of the cancellation of their prom and at worst be the target of some gay-hate beatings.  Or worse.

But the squeaky wheel posts to Facebook and things get around and now there are 1661 news stories, from the BBC to the Daily Telegraph to CBC in Canada to CNN, carrying her story and her plight.  She went on the Today show this morning.  The ACLU has filed suit.  The world now knows that some redneck, bigoted, small-minded, Bible-thumping hicks in the Deep South are so deeply terrified of one girl that they would rather cancel a dance and force everyone to stay home than face that one student might be different then the rest.

She’s cute, she’s erudite… and she’s gay.

This is the new fight for LGBT rights.  Ostracized? Online.  Target of gay hate?  Online.  If all the gay people came Out, stood up, and said, I don’t care about your selective quoting of Leviticus to support your own small-minded bigotry I am here and you need to get used to it, rights would follow suit.   Look at Massachutes gay marriage — Massachutes hasn’t been struck down by God (any more than it normally is) for its horrible transgressions.  Once gay is not something reviled or hidden or locked in a closet, people have no choice but to accept that it isn’t any different than being born with different color skin.

So here I am, cheering on Constance McMillen.  Maybe she can go to her senior prom in her tux and maybe she can’t.  But either way, she has won this fight: she has shined light on the bigotry and watched the cockroaches scurry for dark corners.  She won the moral battle.  It will be easier for the next one to stand up… and the next one… and the next one after that.