Let Girls Take Girls to Prom
This petition had 1,859 supporters
Senior year is supposed to be the best year of one's high school career, and one of the many major events is Prom. An issue myself and many of my peers have been met with is that we are not allowed to bring someone to the Prom if they are the same gender as ourselves.
You don’t have to be dating the person to bring them and have fun. There is no valid reason or explanation as to why students are not allowed to bring a friend of the same sex to Prom. The only clear reason is that the school does not want girls to bring their significant other if they are also female.
Now, I understand that the concept of homosexuality has long been a controversial issue in the Roman Catholic Church. However, not allowing a student to bring a female date because the school is scared that they are a gay couple is disrespectful and discriminates unfairly based on a biased opinion.
Many LGBT+ children who are raised in a Catholic home are terrified to come out. They could face harassment, judgment, and rejection from their peers and family. So they don't come out, and they suppress that part of themselves. Suppressing who you are and living in constant fear of the people around you has horrible effects on mental health, causing a high suicide rate among LGBT+ teens who are not supported by their family or community.
Catholicism is a religion based on love. Jesus preached a message of love and acceptance of all of your neighbors, he hung out with society's rejects and did not discriminate at all. I subscribe to that message of love, and Pope Francis actively preaches that love.
In Pope Francis' encyclical Amoris Laetitia: he says “We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while 'every sign of unjust discrimination' is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”
Pope Francis has also famously said, "They must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. The church not only should apologize for the person who is gay whom it offended..."
In my school's handbook, it states: “... is a place where each student can learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment. The faculty and staff foster and maintain an atmosphere where mutual respect is an expectation on the part of both students and adults.”
And after very close examination of the handbook, I have found no stated rule against bringing a girl to Prom.
Section 10-15c of Title IX states: "The public schools shall be open to all children five years of age and over who reach age five on or before the first day of January of any school year, and each such child shall have, and shall be so advised by the appropriate school authorities, an equal opportunity to participate in the activities, programs and courses of study offered in such public schools, at such time as the child becomes eligible to participate in such activities, programs and courses of study, without discrimination on account of race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin or sexual orientation; provided boards of education may, by vote at a meeting duly called, admit to any school children under five years of age."
I'm aware I attend a private, Catholic school, and not all the laws for public schools apply to us, however, it seems unfair to limit LGBT+ student's activities and not treat them with the acceptance that public schools show them.
In my opinion, Catholics should strive to be like Jesus and accept all of God's children with the same love and compassion they would show to their own children, and all students should be allowed to bring whoever they want to Prom.
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