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St. Anthony's Bans Gay Prom Couples

Some students at the South Huntington Catholic school say the ruling is not fair.

Call it a separation of church and date.

That's the issue at in South Huntington, where for the first time, school administrators have banned gay couples from attending the prom after a 17-year-old female student asked to take a female date, who is not a student at the school.

School officials say their ruling is based on the understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman. 

"Every decision that we make on a high school level should reflect that teaching," said Bro. Gary Cregan, the school's principal. "We kind of felt that if we approved of a same sex couple coming to the prom, it would appear that we are approving same sex marriage." 

Cregan said it was the the first time he's been asked to allow a same sex couple to attend the prom in his eight years as principal. 

"It's never been a discussed item," said Cregan.

Cregan said he informed his chairman of the board of trustees and bishop of the dioceses Thursday about his ruling and possible media interest.

He said the decision was not difficult to make and based on 2000 years of collective wisdom.

"I know that there are cultural wars and this is a hot button topic in the press, but we had to really think and reflect on church teaching and that made it a little easier for us to make a decision," said Cregan.

Gay students are welcome to attend the June 6 prom, but only as a guest of the opposite sex or by purchasing an individual ticket, which is more expensive, according to Cregan.

Some St. Anthony's students have a problem with that.

"I'm all for people going to prom with the people who make them happy," said Francesca Barone, a senior who will be attending the prom with her boyfriend. 

Barone said she knows many people who want to go to the prom with the same sex and that the school's decision is unfair because the issue is more about freedom of expression rather than religion.

She said people are distraught about Cregan's ruling and fighting back for the first time.

"You're allowed to love who ever you want," Barone said.

Johanna Impellizeri, a basketball player at the school, said it's not fair that gay students will have to pay more to attend with same-sex dates.

"I think all the prices should be the same," said Impellizeri, a 15-year-old junior. "There are people who want to go to prom as a gay couple and its more expensive to do that and they are just mad about that."

"I think that they should be able to go if they want and I don't see any big deal in it," said Gavine Ticcione, a junior.

At a banquet this year, the school posted the definition of a couple as between a man and a woman, according to the Cregan, who attends the prom each year and often waitresses same-sex dancing. 

"At our proms boys dance with boys and girls dance with girls," said Cregan.

david May 14, 2011 at 02:34 PM
God's law is God's law. If you don't like it you are in rebellion against God
PFT May 14, 2011 at 02:37 PM
What you people are forgetting here is that no one is forced to go to St Anthony's, and in choosing to go there you also are choosing to abide by their rules. I am a graduate of the class of 84' and (rules included) would not trade my experience there for anything . With regard to the many comments about cost, the old expression "You get what you pay for" definately applies here! The ruling made by the school is exactly why parents send their children there, if you want to be like everyone else , then go to public school. This is a Catholic HS and people are well aware of that when they ask to be enrolled. Keep up the good work Brother Gary and God bless. Paul T
Asia Lee May 14, 2011 at 02:51 PM
I find it interesting "2000 years of collective wisdom". Isn't wisdom learning from past experiences? Aren't there things considered a sin yesterday, not considered a sin today? My hope is for the church to show more love and less judgement.
belloq May 14, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Fortunately, we enjoy a lot of freedom and choices in this country. Parents sending their child to a certain school, practicing a certain religion and attending a dance are all voluntary pursuits. Like television or the internet or which book to read, the advice is the same- don't like it?, then don't do it. There always will be rules in groups or societies. And again, fortunately, if you don't agree, there always will be other options.
michael vaiano May 30, 2013 at 09:53 PM
I feel this is 2013 it is not fair to not let a gay couple go to the prom what if it was your child be proud of who they are and not look at there sexual preference. Every one should be proud of who they are.

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