Washington, DC, April 9, 2010
The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced today that it, along with the Grammy-winning band Green Day and popular singer and performer Lance Bass, will co-sponsor a prom for Mississippi youth, including students from Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, MS. The school made headlines in March when officials canceled its prom rather than allow a lesbian student, Constance McMillen, to bring her girlfriend as her date or wear a tuxedo. The Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition’s second annual Second Chance Prom will be held on May 8, 2010 in Downtown Tupelo, Mississippi.
“We’ve very pleased to be able to support and promote LGBT equality alongside other sponsors,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We’re proud to be standing on the side of love and acceptance instead of fear and prejudice, and we hope that the event will bring appreciation of the diversity within our society and encourage others to embrace it as a positive value that can continue to forge progress for all Americans.”
The Second Chance Prom will feature dinner for guests, live entertainment, a ceremony to honor outstanding youth in Mississippi, booths highlighting organizations striving for LGBT equality and celebrity guests. Other sponsors of the event include Cat Cora and Tonic.com.
“I hope this Second Chance Prom will be an opportunity to get beyond recent negativity and provide a celebration that shows the benefits of an inclusive outlook,” said Speckhardt.
Todd and Diana Stiefel made a $20,000 grant available to the AHA for the purpose of sponsoring this prom in Itawamba County. Humanists and other freethinkers have expressed a great interest in countering the discrimination of the Itawamba County school board.
Humanists and freethinkers have a history of speaking up for the rights of all. The AHA was among the first to support civil rights, equal pay for equal work and the right of same-sex couples to marry. Recently the AHA launched the LGBT Humanist Council to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families (http://www.lgbthumanists.org/ ).
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.