By Shannon Ralph
In news that should be shocking but has sadly become all too familiar, yet another high school has banned gay and lesbian students from participating in their student prom. The principal of St. Anthony’s Catholic High School on Long Island, Brother Gary Cregan, has denied lesbian student Angelina Lange’s request to bring her ex-girlfriend to the prom as her date. Brother Cregan issued the following statement to MSNBC: “Our Catholic faith specifies that marriage involves a man and a woman, and our policy on dating must reflect that. We mean no malice or disrespect.”
Having attended a Catholic high school myself, I am neither surprised nor dismayed by this headline. It is predictable. I am, however, offended by Brother Cregan’s assertion that the school intends no malice or disrespect with this decision. How could denying a student access to her senior prom —a right of passage for high school students across this country—based solely on her sexual orientation, be anything but malicious and disrespectful? Would the school deny access to the prom to a student of color? A disabled student?
A foreign exchange student? A short student? A tall student? I highly doubt it. This would appear disrespectful. Gay students, however, seem to somehow be the exception to the rule. It is oddly acceptable to bully gay students under the guise of morality. Brother Cregan, let’s get real. You do intend to disrespect Ms. Lange. The school’s policy on gay students is malicious. As a private school, St Anthony’s Catholic High School has the prerogative to be disrespectful and malicious if it so chooses. But let’s at least have the decency to call it what it is. What happened to The Golden Rule? Do unto others, Brother Cregan.