Constance McMillen is giving high school students in Mississippi a lesson in mental toughness. She’s an 18-year old high school senior who wants to attend the prom. When the school board found out she was a lesbian and wanted to bring her girlfriend to the dance, they freaked out and canceled the prom. USA Today has been covering this story all week. Here are my critical thinking questions on this story: When will we finally stop discriminating against minorities? When will America grow up and begin practicing the tolerance we love to lecture our children about? When will we finally accept people of all orientations, races, colors, and beliefs? And for the people who still actually believe gay people choose to be gay, here’s my critical thinking question for you: who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be gay in a country that viciously attacks gay people on every front? Millions of gay people are terrified to come out of hiding. It’s not only sad, it’s criminal and it needs to stop. Please watch this post and leave your comments. This young girl is fighting for her rights, and millions of kids are getting a lesson in discrimination and intolerance. I look forward to another spirited debate on this very important issue.  Steve Siebold

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

78 thoughts on “Mentally Tough Lesbian Fights Back”

  1. Steve: logically, I look at the complexities of a single cell, and determine that such a complex mechanism must have a designer, or a creator. Logically, I see the laws of sowing and reaping work in my life and in the lives of others. Logically, I see biblical concepts at work in the laws of physics and the universe. Concepts like right and wrong, good and evil, are impossible without a Biblical world view. They are just based on feelings, otherwise.

    And for what it’s worth:

    Christians were on the front lines of the women’s suffrage movement. Christians were on the front lines of the abolitionist movement. Christians were on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Because Christians believe, via divine revelation, that slavery, racism, and sexism are sins.

    Why do most Christians, including a majority of African Americans Christians, not support marriage rights for gays? Because Christians believe that homosexuals should be loved, but that homosexual behavior is sin, and it shouldn’t be sanctioned by the state. You might counter with, “Yes, but what do YOU believe?” And I would answer, “I believe in a God who has revealed himself through the Bible.”

    This hardly makes me a robot. This just means my worldview is informed by the Bible, whereas maybe someone else’s is informed by their own or someone else’s feelings or opinions.

    Even a secular humanist must admit that placing a negative value judgment on my opinions because they are informed by scripture is inconsistent with his own world view of “to each his own.” Otherwise, that motto must be revised with asterisks on a case by case basis. “To each his own*

    *except for Christians
    * except for Muslims
    * except for Republicans

    You get the idea.

  2. Food for thought from a world class thinker:

    “Relativists assert that it is absolutely true that truth is not absolute.” Dr. Jason Lisle, p. 37, (The Ultimate Proof of Creation).

  3. Steve,

    Your post reveals your bias against those who don’t support “homosexual rights” (they actually have the same rights as the rest of us – heterosexuals cant marry people of the same sex either). Gays are not a minority any more than polygamists are.

    Your “critical thinking” seems more critical of those who disagree with your view. None of the other kids would be allowed to bring a friend of the same gender as a date either I’m sure. What about those whose beliefs are that this is wrong. Are you tolerant of them?

    You give yourself away with this question: “…here’s my critical thinking question for you: who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be gay in a country that viciously attacks gay people on every front?” People choose to have contrary beliefs to the majority of society all the time – it makes them part of a cause and they feel reaffirmed in that because they think the majority is wrong. The fact is that gays are not viciously attacked on every front – thats hyperbole. Most of us dont care what they do as long as they dont impose their beliefs on us and start changing the definition of words for legal advantage – words like marriage.

  4. I’m not interested in any faith based interpretations of this situation – it’s just not my way of looking at it, but others do of course.

    Agree or not with him, Brian is mentally tough in his insistence and stand with the logic behind it he uses.


  5. Those of you who believe that homosexuality is a choice, let me ask you this? If you had a life threatening disease and someone came to you and said, “I have the cure for your disease, it has been scientifically proven to work.” Would you not believe them? Perhaps, you are not educated to the fact that there is a genetic chromosomal difference in homosexual people that has been proven scientifically. Do you not believe that birth defects occur? All human beings are not born “perfect.” All babies do not come out of the womb with 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 sexual organ, and straight. Okay, so you believe that God doesn’t make gay people right? But you do believe that he has made hermaphrodites and babies with serious life threatening deformities, correct? Because you cannot argue the fact that those people do exist and it was not a choice that they made to be born with both a penis and a vagina. Explain that one. Birth defects happen all of the time. Not every single person born comes out of the womb healthy, happy and straight…or even alive for that matter. Get educated and try to think for yourself for a change.

    Steve’s point is right on cue. While I do think that in some regions, society is becoming more accepting of homosexuality, there are still laws in place right now limiting the rights that the people in the gay community have. Which is in line with women not being able to vote, and black people being judged and ridiculed with limitations on the things that they were legally allowed to do until the civil rights movement. How would you feel if you were not legally allowed to be joined in marriage by the love of your life?

  6. I think there are at least 4 types of love listed as follows. Affection, friendship, Eros and charity. Yes love is an emotion that can be manged. Few people stay at or in one level constantly. So we have to choose to nurture love in the needed or missing form. Often toxic realtions is caused by self love stronger than the love of the other person.

    I agree people have difficulty in whom they allow themselves to become lovingly attached to. Most people at an early age know when these feelings and thoughts start. It has been said “we can not stop the birds from flying over our head but we can stop them from building a nest in our hair”.

    Yes it is good to have an open mind but not so open that the brain falls out. We each are the gate-keeper of our own mind.

  7. Hi, Steve. One of the prior posters said if one denies gays aren’t born that way, then they are a stew brained bigot. There is genetic proof for an alcoholic gene. So far, there is no genetic proof for a gay gene. I’m pointing out that we don’t grant special rights to alcoholics, even though it’s a genetic predisposition.

    Ms. McMillen attending a dance, I believe, is granting a special privilege on the basis of a lifestyle choice. I have no strong opinions on her showing up or not to the dance. I do have strong opinions on gay marriage, and that’s what we were debating when I brought up the alcoholic point.

    Alcoholics didn’t ask for a predisposition to drink alcoholically, either. And yet we don’t have special laws that grant exceptions to alcoholics.

    I respect homosexuals. I have many gay friends. Most are for gay marriage. Many are not, and have very strong reasoning behind their arguments.

    If the school told Ms. McMillen she couldn’t come alone or bring a guy to the dance because she’s a lesbian, I think that would be discrimination. When I was in high school, attendance at extra-cirricular activities was a privilege, not a right, and it was subject to GPA, among other things. If a dumb kid wasn’t allowed at the Prom and sued, would you be outraged? What if he had a pre-existing condition like ADHD?

    In my opinion, Ms. McMillen bringing a guy to the dance or going alone = equal rights. Ms. McMillen bringing a girl to the dance = special rights.

    Again, discrimination based on sex and race would have looked this this (in the Prom case): No women or minorities allowed to attend prom. Pretty clear discrimination. The school isn’t saying no lesbians allowed at prom. Lesbians are allowed at the prom. I’m not saying there isn’t some arbitrariness with these rules. Just as I’m sure you’d agree a 17 or 18 year old girl shouldn’t be allowed to attend with her lover father.

    Steve, a very good friend of mine has a PhD in astrophysics from UC Boulder. He is also a Christian, and has a book called “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” (Dr. Jason Lisle – I went to undergrad with him) where he argues just the opposite about faith and logic. I don’t have the mental ability to summarize all of his points here, but suffice to say that making blanket statements like “Steve uses logic and evidence, and all who disagree with me do not” is rather arrogant.

    As far as holding up in court, courts use laws of logic, reason, and evidence, and I’m quite comfortable that current marriage laws in California, FL, and elsewhere could withstand said judicial scrutiny.

  8. Steve,

    This is in response to “Mentally tough Lesbian…”., and to a couple of the other recent blogs. I both admire and support your sincere attempts in this column to be open and fair minded, whether to Democrats or Republicans, Conservative or Liberal, Lesbian or non-Lesbian, Gay or non-Gay. Some of the responses you get remind me of the opinions which led to slave ships and witch burning. I’m not sure if or when we will ever learn to rise above differences in thinking.

  9. Steve,

    I just read your response to Brian. Proof to me that George Washington ever lived. What about Christopher Columbus? What proof do you have? Really? Word of mouth? Testimony of others? These are the proofs that you would use for the above mentioned men. Then you take that on faith. Just as Christians believe (yes, with faith) in the testimonies of Jesus. What can really be proven?

  10. ‘It seems that we , as a country, never seem to overcome intolerance we just shift it’s focus to something else that it’s socially acceptable to be intolerant of.” — Robert

    Change that to “people as a world” and you get the reality of history to the present. It’s all countries all nationalities all religions all political organizations and you can take that down into the smallest units of local communities, neighborhoods and homes.

    The bigger question is about how to address that and how to change that from inside the person.


  11. It seems that we , as a country, never seem to overcome intolerance we just shift it’s focus to something else that it’s socially acceptable to be intolerant of. If we substitute the words gay and gay marriage for black and interracial marriage, we are using the same rhetoric and same words as we did 50 years ago. People back then used the Bible and God’s will as an argument and called it unnatural for black people to have have equal rights.
    Future generations will look back on this time with the same regard we now look back on the segregationists of the pre-civil rights era. It’s all about fear and, Steve is right, hats off to the young lady for being mentally tough enough to stand up for her rights.

  12. I’ve wondered that, Brenda.

    When I began a teaching career in 1975 in a middle school we talked about going out into the world of work some day and my position was: look any way you want to look but realize other people will judge you from their standards. It’s the way of the world.

    These were seventh and eighth graders saying: I’ll look the way I want to look that’s who I am. They were young and had a point.

    So I told them my opinion was they could and at the same time other people had the same right to say: you can look that way but it’s not a look that impresses me and you can’t dress that way on the job. Expect it.
    There’s that perspective here also. Steve’s perspective is about the girl’s heroic mental toughness stance. Heroic stances produce heat. It’s a shame. Intolerance is a shame.



  13. Would absolute diversity lead to chaos or some kind of One State Order. Or something else?

    In marketing it’s all about the MeBrand. AND everyone wants to brand himself and herself.

    Is for the greater good of all that there are no absolutes except absolute diversity – every MeBrand gets individual, personalized rights? Would that lead to cultural annihilation or cohesion?

    If you extrapolate and hypothesize as far as possible what’s the outcome?

    Or is it much simpler than that?

    Some cultures have strict anti homosexual laws calling for stoning, for worse. For others it’s live and let live. The USA is unique and we’re still trying to figure it all out. I’m on the live and let live side.

    Not much in this thread is about the girl in Mississippi, though. Does anyone know more than a few facts and opinions – the complete picture? Or isn’t that necessary? This thread is about us and what we think, right?



  14. Steve – I totally agree with you. Haven said that, with the beliefs I grew up with – my family would die if they knew I agreed with you!

    Congratulations to everyone writing about this issue.

    And thank you Steve for always challenging me to THINK instead of just following. Please keep up critical issues like this one.

  15. Tony – I would sign on to that. So would Obama. I don’t think most in the GLBT community would, however. Which is a shame. Sounds like a good compromise to me, and they need to compromise when they are losing on the ballot EVERYWHERE it’s put to a vote.

  16. Mike – I agree that there are really good, well-intentioned people on both sides.

  17. It’s when people want to take their business public and make it a part of governmental regulation and manadate that some of the contention begins to heat up. Right?

    Two gay friends do their thing quietly the other two brings it to the public attention for personal reasons. I don’t have a preference – it’s theirs that matters.

    Now we have conflict and The Fiddler on the Roof plays on.

    Read J. Krishnamurti and watch Fellini’s Satyricon if you haven’t then examine your perspectives. My perspective is open ended which doesn’t make me ACDC or wishy washy – I’m all for freedom of speech and action with no hassles from people who see things differently.

    When and how is one mentally tough or not? Do we all define it the same and does Steve define it always the same? Is it a condition or concrete definition? Is it situational and relative or absolute. What is mental toughness and world class thinking the function of and how does one apply it?

    My friends come in all kinds of shapes and forms, colors and habits and non of that matters much to me. Our friendship matters.

    Back to Mississippi – observers might have seen it coming knowing the dynamics of the culture there. The high school girl made a decision and all hell broke loose. It’s a shame BUT it’s real and human and good people on all sides of this “issue” are yelling at one another and demonizing one another.



  18. @jason – Hey hey! Ho ho! The legal limit’s gotta go! Hey hey! Ho Ho! .08 is WAY TOO LOW!

  19. Tony: if disagreeing with you on gay marriage makes me a “stew brained” bigot, then so be it. I have also recently found that disagreeing with Obama on healthcare makes me a racist.

    How interesting that all the name calling and demonizing as of late seems to be coming from those who preach tolerance as their supreme guding value.

    I have no problem with what you or anyone else chooses to do in the privacy of their own bedroom. I do have a problem with redefining the cornerstone of Western civilization (marriage) to accommodate your sexual preference.

  20. Fellini’s Satyricon is a journey through a fairytale for adults. It is evident that Fellini, finding in these ancient personages the projection of his own human and artistic doubts, is led to wonder if the universal and eternal condition of man is actually summed up in the frenzied realization of the transience of life which passes like a shadow. These ancient Romans who spend their days in revelry, ravaged by debauchery, are really an unhappy race searching desperately to exorcise their fear of death.” – Internet source

    Also, the subject of homosexuality is part of this narrative.

    All of my study outside my immediate upbringing, values and norms have given me a unique perspective on convention, cultural habits and beliefs, and contemporary issues. I mentioned J. Krishnamurti earlier on this thread and now also recommend this movie.

    Each of us recommends what has meaning to us, argue this and that point, and walk away from the thread more convinced of our own ideas and beliefs and experiences than before the discussion.

    I’ve read some fascinating and astute arguments here, and some I can’t quite understand or agree with, but look how emotional it’s become because of vested beliefs and opinions.

  21. How about three men or young men wanting to get married and go to the prom? What’s wrong with that Steve? If three men or boys love each other, I think they should be allowed to go to the prom.

  22. Brian, I would . . . providing a few factors.

    First, incest is a sticky subject because parent child incest typically starts either emotionally or physically before the child is of consenting age, in this case it would actually be considered child abuse and rape in which case it certainly can’t be tolerated in this model because it deprives the child of her rights.

  23. Lol I knew you were a funny guy. If you wanna lobby to raise the BAC limit because it’s a noble cause, go for it, jk. If you look at what MADD has done to put all the alcohol laws on the books, you can’t help but support them. One person standing up for a noble cause can gain influence and make a difference. I think what Constance is doing is praiseworthy. The school board panicked and canceled the entire prom. What if the prom happens? The sun will still rise in the morning.

    I remember watching the movie “Prayers for Bobby,” and you just feel for these kids because they don’t wanna defy social norms, and that led him to commit suicide. Why trap people in these boxes just because of some faulty interpretation of the great book?

  24. John – I like your golden rule argument a lot. Will you apply that rule to the girl who wants to bring her lover father to the prom?

  25. Brian, this seems like more of a golden rule issue to me. Driving buzzed is scientifically proven to be dangerous to people other than Mr. Kirk and therefor infringes on their rights, no to mention is irresponsible if you are going to cause harm to others.

    Who you are attracted to an who you consensually choose to spend your time with doesn’t deprive anyone else of their rights, this is the funtamental difference that separates the issues and over which I don’t think any argument can climb.

  26. Jason – Constance has every right you and I enjoy. Attending the prom with her girlfriend, I would argue, is a special right, and one that the school chose not to grant. No one I know wants to deny anybody their rights. But redefining societal norms in order to accommodate someone based on behavioral characteristics seems silly to me.

    Here’s some parody that might better make my case.

    Mentally tough alcoholic fights back!

    Brian Kirk is giving residents of Boynton Beach, FL a lesson in mental toughness. He’s a 36-year old father of two who wants to drive buzzed. When the sheriff’s office found out he was an alcoholic and wanted to drive with an open container in his Lexus, they freaked out and threatened to arrest him.

    Here are my critical thinking questions on this story: When will we finally stop discriminating against alcoholics? When will America grow up and begin practicing the tolerance we love to lecture our children about? When will we finally accept people of all orientations, races, colors, and beliefs? And for the people who still actually believe alcoholics choose to be that way, here’s my critical thinking question for you: who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be alcoholic in a country that viciously attacks alcoholics on every front?

    Millions of alcoholics are terrified to come out of hiding. It’s not only sad, it’s criminal and it needs to stop. Please watch this post and leave your comments. This man is fighting for his rights, and millions of kids are getting a lesson in discrimination and intolerance. I look forward to another spirited debate on this very important issue.

    1. Brian,
      You’re comparing a human beings sexual orientation with being an alcoholic? How does Constance McMillen attending a dance with her girlfriend compare with someone driving drunk and endangering the lives of others? The only thing Constance McMillen is endangering is bigotry and hatred. Imagine, as a heterosexual, having to hide your feelings for women your whole life? Imagine what it does to a persons self esteem when they are forced to live a lie every day? Gay’s and Lesbians didn’t ask for this predispostion, no more than you and I asked to be born heterosexuals. All they’re asking for is equal rights and to be treated with the same love and respect we give heterosexuals. Is that too much to ask? How is this discrimination any different than what we did to women and african-americans? I appreciate your part in this discussion, but I honestly can’t see how you can justify your philosophy. Did it help or hurt society and humanity when we stopped discriminating against women and blacks? I honestly want to understand the mindset that creates your conclusions. What am I missing, Brian?

  27. Steve,

    Wow, big . .. er. . guts taking on this issue. All this talk of “re-defining” marriage and the now famous jello analogy are supposing a few things about everyone else. First, the only thing about marriage that any of us have to accept is that is a legal contract in the eyes of the state and very little more. Changes happen to state run institutions all the time and no one raises a fuss (look at health care . . ha .. ok, bad example) Anyway the sacred nature of our nostalgic view of marriage is generally the function of our respective religions. Most religions have a book of rules and sacraments and strive to follow them all. I don’t always agree, but I can respect them trying. I get off the bus, however, when these complicated and sacred ideas about a sacrament in someone else’s church are exalted to a level that people start to think they should affect laws that EVERYONE has to live by. You wouldn’t force a Hindu to eat beef or a Muslim pork because that is what everyone else does, and I think trying to over-complicate the move to change a state sponsored legal document (like marriage) in order that it more properly reflects the tolerance of our population as a whole at this point in time, is a mistake.

    I think it is sad when someone who grew up in a certain faith is no longer welcome because whatever god they worship seemingly “made them the way they are”. To get punished for it and booted from the church or not allowed to marry there is sad and deplorable, but not nearly as lonesome as cutting those people off from the rest of society and putting into practice other laws that they can’t get away from by switching churches.

    Some of you holy rollers might also note that there are several faiths that support gay marriage and they use the SAME BOOK that you do. In some faiths scholars have taken the words in the book to mean something different than you have interpreted it to mean. There are probably hundreds of subjects in which that is the case, so why is the subject of homosexuality the one where everyone decides to stop being tolerant. Different Christian sects have differing beliefs about transubstantiation, but they don’t seem to be at odds over it, they tolerate one another. I don’t understand then, when it comes to gay marriage, one faith is OK with it while others aren’t and it has to come to such a strong controversy. Why can’t we get along like we do on so many other issues? And back to my original point, why can’t religious people just be happy to lord over their own church and leave everyone else alone.

    Finally, on the subject of tolerance, has anyone considered how this looks to your children? Hanging on to intolerant ideas like this is akin to smokers who won’t consider quitting to set a good example for their kids even when the rest of the world seems to be moving towards a non-smoking future, yet there they are with their “I smoke and I vote” bumper sticker. Same for fat people who “like being fat” and refuse to consider changing, sooner or later the world is going to pass you by and consider your attitudes the same as our grandparents racism towards the Japanese because of living through World War II – completely outdated and no longer relevant.

    My final question for everyone, especially Steve, is how do you think the idea of intolerance on many issues, but today homosexuality, fits into the model of World Class, Upper Class, and Middle Class. I would suggest that being that worried about what other people are doing and selfishly trying to control them for your own morality or satisfaction is a decidedly middle class thing to do. I think someone living a “world class” kind of life isn’t dependent on the actions of others or controlling anyone else in order to achieve their goals or get satisfaction. What other people do in their bedroom is of absolutely Zero concern to a world class thinker. I don’t see how it could be any other way.

  28. We’re all created equal, I think that’s a rational thought. Denying gay people of their rights just doesn’t fit in that mold. You’re right that there are limits to what we can accept, but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to deny people of their rights. You can be for something without being against something else. You can be pro traditional marriage without being anti gay. Being pro gay marriage does not mean you are against traditional marriage, it doesn’t take anything away from traditional folks. If the polygamist and incestuous want the right to marry, let them make their good objective case. Your feelings are just as valid, but what if you’re wrong? What if you’re wrong like the people who opposed interracial marriage were wrong? I am pro traditional marriage, and at the same time I’m not against gay marriage. My intolerance of your opinion does not deny you of anything. Your intolerance of gay marriage denies people of their rights. Let’s put emotions aside and be objective about the issue.

  29. “As an educator, how do we interrupt this cycle of ignorance? I speak to audiences about this every day, but I’m speaking to highly educated Fortune 500 sales teams. Most of these people are well traveled and very intelligent, so they’ve been able to transcend the local cultural biases you mentioned in your comments. But what about high school kids being raised by parents and educators who are simply repeating the poverty, working and middle class beliefs their parents and teachers passed on to them? How do we break that cycle, Mike?” — Steve

    Forced by local, state, or national mandates issues like these become more polorizing and divisive, explosive and contentious.

    Where do you find groups of people talking about these issues dispassinately and intelligently with open minds and agendas put on hold? Sometims local groups come on like that but mask agendas behind the guise. Sometimes ThinkTanks have good discussions but unless some policy is put into effect via some policy setting group, it goes no where. And if the ThinkTank agenda is put into some policy we’re back at polorizing and divisive results.

    Suspended beliefs and opinions are not typical states of mind or intellectual exercises most people practice. Who is either free of any kind of bias, prejudice, or preference or is willing to with hold them for the sake of perhaps coming to a new conclusion?

    How is this cycle broken? Over time laws, behavior, norms and mores play off one another changing culturies, societies, but it appears we’re always back at stand offs based on beliefs and habits of mind and behavior.

    I recommend everyone read a couple of books by J. Krishnamurti and watch and listen to videos of him on YouTube, if only to consider a broader perspective on how beliefs and habits of mind shape our world.


  30. Oh and Jason? I was born with a propensity to drink alcoholically. I have yet to petition a state or federal government to redefine the word “responsible” to include my actions whilst drunk.

  31. Irrational? An adjective – without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason, without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment, not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical: irrational arguments, not endowed with the faculty of reason: irrational animals.

    Let us reason together.
    Are people also born gluttons (FAT), murders, drug addicts, alcoholics, liars, cheaters, adulators, as individuals who like having sex with children, as individuals who like having sex with animals, we could go on and on? If we go down that road we have major problems.

    I know that to fully debate the issue in written form would take pages of discussion, but let me share a couple of critical thoughts.
    First I believe that people all over the world have thoughts (temptations if you will), from time to time, related to a host of things which many people consider sin (which simply means missing the mark or goal which our creator originally planned, purposed and intended, how we should act, behave and relate toward one another). Things similar too what I mentioned above.

    My point is not to focus on what people consider sin, law breaking or improper acts toward other people, but the real question is “ARE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS”? Do they have a choice? I say yes!

    I will agree that people do have genetic, biological and environmental predisposition. Meaning that it may be harder for some people like me to not over eat, be more active, not gain weight easily. But, it is still my choice my responsibility to make the best decision that is best for my welfare.

    We as a human race will always debate what sin is, (improper habits and actions) form generation to generation and the majority of human thought will change from generation to generation. But I believe it is a total cop out for homosexuals to say they have no choice in how they act or what they believe. Similarly it would be a cop out if I say, I was born to be FAT, a glutton, lazy and I do have choice, it is not my responsibility.

  32. P.S. Calling my opinion irrational begs the question. What’s the source of your rationale? Your feelings? If that’s the case, then I just have different feelings than you. How can you assign a value judgment to my feelings? Why aren’t my feelings just as valid as yours? It’s amazing the lack of tolerance the so-called tolerant crowd has for anyone who disagrees with them.

  33. Every last one of us is rather arbitrary when it comes to these moral issues. Would Steve or anyone else here stand up for a girl if she wanted to bring her lover to the prom, a lover who also happens to be her father? Or does that cross a line?

    There are limits to what all of us can accept. Some of us draw the line in different places. Does that make us less tolerant? Most proponents of gay rights think polygamists and those in an incestuous relationship shouldn’t be able to marry. Wow. How intolerant!

    The Jello comparison is a great analogy, as the pro-gay marriage movement wants to redefine the word marriage to fit their new definition.

  34. @ Brian, Constance is not against straight people, she is for gay rights. There is a big difference. She’s not taking anything away from straight people. She is not against anything, she is not rejecting anything, she is standing up for her rights. She is trying to get through the thick skulls and poor judgment of the opponents of gay rights.

    You said your daughter calls jelly jello, she’s a young girl who can’t make her own decisions yet. Fast forward 10 years, your daughter will become a person who can make her own decisions. She will have her own world view, one that’s different from yours, and she will answer to her own conscience and figure out what’s right and wrong. Jelly and jello is a terrible comparison to gay rights (correct spelling vs. correct lifestyle). You can’t be serious with that comparison. Maybe we should all have the same haircut, same opinions, same everything, that’s just comical.

    People who deny that people are born homosexual remind me of the people who declared that the earth is flat, redefining that makes you a sinner. Just plain irrational.

  35. I as in “YOU” think and see the media spotlight as selective to where it shines. The same old same old does not attrack attention to editorialized news. Media needs viewers to sell ads.

    A belief as I explained it was not presented with emotion. But as to how I see some people react to those that they consider lesser beings.

    Emotion has a tendency to read between the lines I think.

  36. Steve: just because someone bases their beliefs on the Bible doesn’t mean they operate from emotion. And just because someone bases their beliefs on their own strong opinions doesn’t mean they operate from logic and reason.

    By the way, everybody gets rejected every day in different ways because they are different. This girl apparently rejected all men because they’re different from what she likes.

    And please don’t wrap your charged opinions in the cloak of logic and reason while dismissing your detractors as emotional. It detracts from the serious points you make about other issues.

    1. Brian,
      Sorry to reply on all these at once and bombard you. I’m headed out of town a few days and wanted to respond to your comments.
      Yes, beliefs based on faith are emotional. Faith is a belief that is not based on logical proof or material evidence, and is therefore emotional.
      What I said is based on a set of facts that can be proven with material evidence. While I have great respect for your faith, it won’t hold up in court, and that’s the distinction we make in mental toughness training between the two. This is not to say all my arguments are logic based, especially on this subject, but the goal is to keep it as logic based as possible. Faith is an emotional bridge between what’s known and unknown, and no matter how much someone believes and how strong their convictions are, something can either be proven or not. Again, I have great admiration for people of all faiths, but this is objective reality minus emotion. That’s critical thinking.

  37. If marriage was redefined again it would not hurt traditional marriage one bit. If marriage was not redefined in 67, interracial marriage would still be illegal. (The bigots are still crying over that one.) The people against gay rights are just a bunch of fake Christians. We need to separate church and state, combined they make asinine policies. Somehow it always goes back to the bible, I think the bible is a great self management tool, but nobody lives it word for word. There are people who don’t believe in religion, the non believers don’t go around judging the believers for believing. People who don’t believe in homosexuality don’t need to go out of their way to fight against gay rights. People against gay rights are just plain irrational, you are in good company (Larry Craig, Roy Ashburn, etc.)

    1. Jason,
      Thanks for your comments. You make a great point about interracial marriage. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. I’ve had so many friends in interracial relationships over the years I’d forgotten what a big deal it was when the masses had to get past that one! Maybe someday we will all learn to accept each other as we are. Thanks again for your comment and for not being afraid to voice your opinion.

  38. The school board comes with its collective biases comprised of individual beliefs born out of local cultural biases and upbringing AND this board feels accountable to the community. Enter a high school girl who admits to being gay and wants to bring another girl to the prom. BIG COLLISION here! The Fiddler on the Roof plays on.

    I remember from the 90s when I taught high school their were a couple of admitted gay boys and they were flagrantly flamboyant about it. I don’t recall they ever brought boy dates to dances or the prom – one may have – but life went on, the kids either ignored them or were fascinated by them or were just their friends and their gayness wasn’t much of an issue that I recall. I would have know had it been.

    Had the school board said “OK” the two girls would have attended the prom and probably not much else would have happened. But what’s the disposition of the student and teacher body about gays? Could it be that letting these girls go to the prom together was seen as potential trouble because of local biases? I don’t know. If so, what then?

    I haven’t followed the events – don’t know what people are saying – but if there was a policy relating to gays attending events – I can’t imgaine there was – then what to do if it were challenged? Another potential BIG COLLISION> At least contention.

    I wouldn’t keep two girls or two guys from attending the prom together as gay friends. I have a casual attitude of live and let live, respect one another and look for reasons to get along. It doesn’t even feel mentally tough to me – it feels reasonable and right.

    Everyone knows homosexuality is a hot issue especially at a time when people debate gay marriage and the law, church and civil gay marriage, gay marriage as a federally or locally mandated right, gay marriage as a natural right, and so on. And with gay groups forming around the country, it threartens non gays who have strong anti gay beliefs. We all knowt that.

    There’s going to continue to be tug-of-wars and sometimes very critical and serious ones as people adjust and accept or not changes in the way we live and think about human sexuality. There will be strong rights and wrongs, contentions and agreements from all sides.

    Ultimately, you get two or more sides screaming at each other ready to toss bombs and call in reinforcements – that’s an extreme photo but it’s real.

    From all sides of culturally hot issues tolerance should be an exercise of rational and practical decision making personaonally and collectively – anything that moves in that direction is the direction that I want to go.



    1. Mike,
      Thanks for your comments. I like what you said about the board and “local and cultural biases”. I guess it’s expecting too much to assume the school board is comprised of educated people with some level of cultural sophistication. This is clearly not the case in Fulton, Mississippi. So now they pass their intolerance and ignornance on to the next generation who will teach their kids the same thing. No wonder it takes so long for major cultural shifts to occur. As an educator, how do we interrupt this cycle of ignorance? I speak to audiences about this every day, but I’m speaking to highly educated Fortune 500 sales teams. Most of these people are well traveled and very intelligent, so they’ve been able to transcend the local cultural biases you mentioned in your comments. But what about high school kids being raised by parents and educators who are simply repeating the poverty, working and middle class beliefs their parents and teachers passed on to them? How do we break that cycle, Mike?
      Thanks again for your ongoing participation in this blog, Mike. I always look forward to your comments.

  39. I also believe love is a choice. As to sexual attraction there is no real set in stone evidence as to being natural or otherwise.
    Regardless as a Christian I read that we have all sinned and each have our weak points. A passage comes to mind in regard to our judging each other is 1 Timothy 1 v 15 as follows “(15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners)” From this I understand that Jesus accepts sinners and self rightous people that consider themselves to good for Christ have little hope. So the point is that to have rightous judgement of others it is not for the people that think they are better than every one else who are disqualified to call themselves Christ followers. If they thought like Christ they would love “all” but not the the behavior of all.
    Many that think they are Christians have not taken their place as the sinner that Jesus paid their debt. Others have forgotten from where they were spiritualy before. And yet others are authentic in word and deed.
    As for the girl involved in the prom to be fair the school must have had regualtons that were known. If so the student was out of line. The rules should have been challenged long before in an orderly manner instead of using the media to achive her goal. Procedural progession is the norm for everyone else.

    1. Dave,
      Thanks for your comments. I see your point about the rules and challenging them in an orderly manner. Unfortunately, social injustice and discrimination are highly emotional issues, and history shows when the media shines it’s spotlight on anything, it gets attention. Martin Luther King learned this early on and used it to push the civil rights movement forward. I would challenge you and everyone else who is quoting the bible to put your emotion aside and consider this issue through the eyes and filters of logic-based reason. As a human being, do you really believe it’s right to teach these high school kids to reject this girl because she’s different? I know what the bible thinks. I’m asking; what do YOU think?

    2. Dave,
      Love is a choice? Love is an emotion, not a logic based decision. Love based on logic is a transaction. if you have to make a conscious decision to love someone, you don’t really love them. It’s self delusion with an ulterior motive. Does someone fall in love or decide to fall in love? Love is the second most powerful emotion (fear is first) in human beings and is considered the premier emotional phenomena we have the capacity to experience. People have no control of who they fall in love with, that’s why so many people get divorced. They fall in love with the wrong person and they marry them anyway. This is one the biggest problems therapists have with couples. How do you counsel couples who love each other but have a toxic relationship?
      I’ll look forward to your thoughts.

  40. I agree. Consenting adults should be able to do almost anything they want in the privacy of their own homes (I don’t think consenting adults should be legally able to engage in prostitution or drug abuse, assisted suicide, for instance). But to force an alternative lifestyle on the rest of us as “normal” is where many of us draw the line.

  41. Totally with you on this one, Steve.

    It seems strange to me that what two consenting adults do in their own bedroom together has any interest to anyone else. Similarly if they want to attend a dance together as other loving couples do – why should anyone else care?

    Come on people this is the 21st century.

  42. Steve,

    Thanks for being a bold leader and taking this message to the world. I am sure that you will witness a lot of intolerance concerning this topic by speaking your mind. I am with you on this one Steve.

  43. Wow! Not sure anyone can effectively respond to your blog relating to the lesbian girl from Mississippi, except to say either “Go get them Steve” or say “wait a minute Steve you gone to far now”. One thing for sure I can say is you are defiantly passionate about the issue.
    First I will say I do not agree with the school board banning the school dance, maybe for different reasons than you. Second I will say I do not hate gay people, I have close relatives that are openly gay, and I work with gay people and do believe they should not be denied basic constitutional rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Third I do not believe God (which includes God the father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit) hates gays. I believe God loves all people; gays, blacks, white, yellow, brown, red, men, women, old people, young people, intelligent people, stupid people, murders, thieves, liars, adulators, sexual deviants, pet-a-files, religious, non religious, atheists, etc.
    So let settle the issue that anyone and everyone would be wrong not to love, have compassion and be tolerant toward gay people. But for you say and/or imply authoritatively that people are gay solely because they are genetically and/or biologically were born that way and have no choice in their behavior, I think your critical thinking has a flaw.
    I know that to fully debate the issue in written form would take pages of discussion, but let me share a couple of critical thoughts. First I believe that people all over the world have thoughts (temptations if you will) from time to time related to a host of things many people consider sin (which simply means missing the mark(goal) which our creator originally planned, purposed and intended how we should act, behave and relate toward one another). Things like lying, stealing, cheating, over eating, having sex with other people other than their wife, husband or committed partner, getting drunk, getting high, having sex with animals, killing other people, killing unborn children, having sex with young children, being disrespectfully to parents and people who have proper authority. My point is not to focus too much on what people consider sin, law breaking or improper acts toward other people, but the real question is “ARE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS”?
    I will end this short discussion with one point. Sense I first became acquainted with you, by becoming involved in your “Fat Loser Program”; I will use this point for you to consider. If you are implying that gay people have no choice in how they act sexually, then I could say with equal authority and experience that FAT people do not have a choice in how much they eat and they were just born with the genetic and biological disposition to eat too much, be lazy and not exercise and become obese gluttons. But even though I fall into the category of being FAT at least part of my life form time to time, I do believe as you teach in the “Fat Loser Program” that I DO HAVE A CHOICE. And even though compared to other people I my have some genetic or environmental predisposition to eating to much and being less active therefore gaining wait easier than some, it is not the way God created me to be and I have choice, it may be harder than other people but it is my choice and responsibility to choose how I will act.
    As I mentioned before I know that much more could be said, but I have tired my best to condense my thoughts in to a rational brief reply or rebuttal so to speak.

  44. Steve,

    I disagree with you Steve! I’m all for Constance going to the prom with whomever she wishes. However, to suggest that no one would choose to be gay because of the “rejection and discrimination” they receive in this country is simply not true. Look at the rejection drug addicts get, yet they still choose drugs.

    Love is and always will be a choice.

    Do I think someone who chooses to be gay should be ridiculed? No! Does that make their choice correct? Absolutely not.

    Am I being judgmental? Well I guess I’m being about as judgmental as you would be the next time you went to plug something into an electrical outlet with “male” to “male” ends. It wouldn’t work would it Steve? Why? Because it is not natural. How well would your car start if you tried to plug an ignition into the ignition? You’re correct again Steve, it wouldn’t work. Why? Because it is not natural.

    Homosexuals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. However it is a choice. It is wrong. It is not natural.

  45. WOW!!! Did I miss something? Minority does not belong to a decision on sexual preference. We don’t have minority status in beastiality! We don’t have minority status in child molesters! We don’t even have minority status in ‘whips and leather’! Why does anyone, except those who willingly participate, want to be a ‘minority’ when they push the perverted lifestyle (and is absolutely condemned in Gods’ word) into America mainstream and force feed the hate and contempt that they themselves spew? Steve, I’m ‘Shocked, Shocked’ at your thinking that sodomy is ok. I’m really confused how a man with such strong following can permit his name to be aligned along side such deceit.

  46. Steve asks: “…who in their right mind would CHOOSE to be gay in a country that viciously attacks gay people on every front? Millions of gay people are terrified to come out of hiding. It’s not only sad, it’s criminal and it needs to stop.”

    Are you talking about Saudi Arabia here? I think America goes out of its way to tolerate gays, Muslims, and other minorities.

    I’m assuming you support gay marriage?

    My daughter calls jelly Jello. If I’m to be tolerant, do I let her redefine that word?

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