Friday, March 12, 2010

Bible Belt State Halts Freedom of Expression

The anti-gays, pro-conservatives, and raving religious fanatics are relentless in their bigotry and continue to make others suffer for it. Itawamba County school district board in the state of Mississippi recently announced the cancellation of a high school prom in attempt to prevent a lesbian couple from attending. The school board vaguely attributed its' actions "to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events." The ambiguity of these words reinforce the underlying actions of the school board, and weakly serve as a veil geared to mask the blatant disgust these bigoted Southerners possess for homosexuals. One could never doubt that in NYC hoards of gay supporters would gang together in unison to riot against such an act. Yet, in a backward state such as Mississippi, where even the youth refrain from holding progressive views, combative efforts to support the lesbian couple are nothing but slim. In attempt to gauge public opinion, one Mississippi teen was quoted stating in response to the incident, "I don't agree with homosexuality, but I can't change what another person thinks or does." I can't help but assess that this statement stands as one of the more tame attitudes concerning homosexuality harbored by Mississippi residents, and it is more than doubtful that statistics would be needed to affirm that most Mississippians are in full support in the canceling of the prom. This consequently brings us to another crucial point. While steps by gay rights advocacy groups, primarily ACLU, have been issued forth to pressure the school board in allowing the teen gay couple to attend the prom, the legality and moral basis of this can be questioned even by gay supporters. Mississippi, grips tightly to Christian doctrine, and this fact cannot be undermined. Ultimately, whether or not it might violate constitutional rights it is a state issue which should be left up to Mississippians to decide. The residents are the ones paying tax money to fund the public schools and should have ultimate say as to the proper conduct permitted on school grounds. While most gay rights activists may shun this reasoning it still must be taken into legal consideration. Limiting one's freedom of expression is morally wrong, but so is imposing one's ideologies on others. Just as the Mississippi teen stated unfortunately you can't change what a person thinks or does. And so for now in an effort towards diplomacy we will all just have to live with their unshakeable hatred until Mississippi finally does join us in the 21st century.

1 comment:

Oxygen Smith said...

I don't know, gang. It seems like this reasoning isn't about realism, but merely surrenders to the line of thought where 'the majority gets to decide the rights of the minority.'

The majority doesn't have any intrinsic right to decide the rights of minorities. It may have political strength to resist change, just as anti-integrationist whites did in the 1960s, but that is a completely different matter. No majority possesses rights to violate others' rights based on majority preferences, especially on the basis of having its collective religious beliefs flouted.

Anyway, I would like to see actual stats on Mississippi's attitudes. I found this site while looking for them, since I've been following this story.