The Westboro Baptist Church has
announced it will picket the Saturday graduation of Constance
McMillen, the Mississippi lesbian student who sued her school
district for refusing to allow her to attend prom with her
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.”
McMillen's gay rights fight attracted
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres thanked
McMillen for standing up for everyone's rights and presented her with
a $30,000 college scholarship during an appearance on Ellen.
“I admire you so much,” the openly
lesbian DeGeneres said. “When I was your age I never would have
had the strength to do what you are doing.”
Producers of the Gay & Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards arranged for the
teen to present openly gay actress-comedian Wanda Sykes with a gay
rights advocacy award at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media
Awards in Los Angeles.
The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro
Baptist Church is made up mostly of family members who believe it is
sinful not to speak out against being gay.
A counter demonstration is also being
planned, according to the Facebook group Itawambians
That Detest Westboro Baptist Church.
The graduation will take place at the
Itawamba Community College. Protesters – and counter protesters –
are expected to face off outside the building between 3PM – 4PM.
UPDATE: The Associated Press is
reporting that McMillen no longer is a student IAHS and is scheduled
to graduate on June 2.