The Westboro Baptist Church has
announced it will picket the graduation of a lesbian student who sued
her school district for refusing to allow her to attend prom with her
Constance McMillen sued the Itawamba
County School District after it decided to cancel the Itawamba
Agricultural High School (IAHS) prom dance for junior and senior
students rather than allow McMillen to attend with her girlfriend and
wear a tuxedo.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), which represented the 18-year-old in court, claimed victory
in a March ruling by US District Judge Glen H. Davidson. Davidson
agreed that the Fulton, Mississippi school had violated McMillen's
rights, but refused to force the school to hold the event.
“WBC will picket the graduation of
Itawamba Agricultural High School to remind the parents, teachers and
students of this nation that God said 'Thou shall not lie with
mankind, as with womankind, it is abomination,'” the church said in
announcing the protest.
“This generation has been raised to
believe that they can live for the devil and still go to heaven, that
God has no standards and the biggest lie of all – that God loves
“The parents of Fulton, MS feign
outrage that a filthy dyke wants to parade her 'girlfriend' around at
their night of fornication called a prom,” the church added. “They
had a duty to teach their children what the Lord requires of them.
They shirked this duty.”
The Topeka, Kansas-based church, which
is made up mostly of family members, came to national attention when
they started picketing the funeral processions of soldiers killed
during the war in Iraq. Fred Phelps, who helms the church, believes
dead soldiers returning from Iraq are God's punishment for American
support of gay men and lesbians.
Members of the church believe it is
sinful not to speak out against being gay.
“But it's not you [gay men and
lesbians] and your filth that is causing God's condign wrath to pour
out unmixed and unmitigated on this rebellious nation,” Margie
Phelps told On Top Magazine in 2008. “It's all of the pride
and sin of doomed America; it's all the fag enablers, without which
you would be back in the closet with your mouth shut, where you
The May 22 graduation ceremony will
take place at the Itawamba Community College.