Fulton's restricted, straights-only prom is on:

The school board's response states that parents have organized a private prom at a furniture mart in nearby Tupleo. Now that the school district has withdrawn from the event, any constitutional claims are irrelevant, Griffith wrote. [American Civil Liberties Union attorney Christine] Sun said she had only heard rumors of the private dance until she read it in the brief.

"Constance has not been invited, so it is clear to me that what is happening is that the school has encouraged a private prom that is not open to all the students," she said. "That's what Constance is fighting for—a prom where everyone can go."

On one discussion on an Internet bulletin board about the planned prom in Tupelo, a poster who identified himself as a junior at the high school said the prom would be "invitation only."

"Constance and her gay-activist friends will not be attending," he said. "They can go have their own prom because we certainly do not want any of them there."

The poster expressed frustration at the attention the issue had brought to the city of about 4,000.

Constance1.jpg
Constance McMillen didn't have any "gay activist friends" until after the Itawamba County School Board cancelled her high school's prom rather than allow Constance to attend with her girlfriend. It was the actions of the Itawamba County School Board that thrust Fulton into the national spotlight. No one would've heard of Constance—or Fulton, Mississippi, or Itawamba Agricultural—if the school and the school board had refrained from discriminating against Constance and hadn't canceled prom and invited the "community" to host a restricted prom.

And file this under boo-hoo-hoo:

An affidavit filed Friday in support of the school board by attorney James Keith claimed school board members have been been under "tremendous pressure" as a result of the controversy.

"The school board was caught in a no-win situation as this matter developed," Keith wrote. "One board member received threats at his place of employment because of the stance he had taken on the matter. Board members have received emails, telephone calls and Facebook messages regarding this matter."

Gee, it's almost as if a school board can't discriminate against a lesbian student with impunity anymore. What is the world coming to? And I would guess that the school board member who "received threats at his place of employment" is Eddie Hood. In addition to being one of the bigots on the Itawamba County School Board, Mr. Hood is an Allstate Insurance Agent. His contact email on the Itawamba County School Board's website when this story broke (since removed) was his work email—a082315@allstate.com—and this prompted some folks to write to Mr. Hood's employers. Here's one letter that was sent to Allstate:

Would I be able to purchase insurance from Eddie Hood Insurance in Tupelo, Mississippi? Or would he just close his office rather than take my business?

It's sickening that in this day and age, 40 years after the civil rights movement there are still individuals like Mr. Eddie Hood who blatantly descriminate against gays & lesbians.

I hope Allstate will send a message to its' employees/contractors/customers that it in no way sponsors this type of exclusionary, self-righteous and illegal behavior.

Sincerely,

Lee McDonald

Lee received this response from an Allstate rep in Virginia:

Dear Mr. McDonald:

Thank you for your request via Allstate.com. Your concerns are important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to address them.

Mr. Hood's service on the school board is no way connected to the Allstate Insurance Company. It is unfortunate that he used his Allstate email address which is not permissible. Allstate's policies support inclusive diversity in all our operations, including hiring and promotions, supplier diversity, marketing efforts and the communities in which we invest. Allstate's fair and equitable treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees, consumers and investors has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. This commitment has been recognized in the awards and designations we received from national publications like DiversityInc magazine, which named Allstate one of the top 50 companies in the United States for diversity.

Matt Brickwedde
Customer Resolution Specialist
CES @ Roanoke
Allstate Insurance Company
1819 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone 1-800-995-2587 Ext. 4583
Fax 1-866-224-5548
mbric@Allstate.com

Another reader CC'd me on a letter he sent to Allstate's board of directors—directors@allstate.com—and he received this response:

Dear Mr. Lock:

This email is in response to your email to the Directors@allstate.com. Your concerns are important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to address them.

Please be advised that Mr. Hood's service on the school board is no way connected to the Allstate Insurance Company. It is unfortunate that he used his Allstate email address which is not permissible. Allstate's policies support inclusive diversity in all our operations, including hiring and promotions, supplier diversity, marketing efforts and the communities in which we invest. Allstate's fair and equitable treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees, consumers and investors has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. This commitment has been recognized in the awards and designations we received from national publications like DiversityInc magazine, which named Allstate one of the top 50 companies in the United States for diversity.

If you have any further questions, please give me a call at 847 402 5448.

Corinne Telesca
Executive Assistant
Chairman's Customer Care
Allstate Insurance Company
2775 Sanders Rd. Suite D9C
Northbrook,ILL 60062
Phone 847-402-5448
Fax 847-418-5966
acms9@allstate.com

So Allstate knows about Mr. Hood, isn't pleased, and identical emails are being sent from offices in Virginia and Illinois to Allstate customers who are writing in about Mr. Hood's actions. For the record: McDonald's letter isn't a "threat," it's an inquiry. Mr. Hood is an Allstate agent. In his capacity as a Itawamba County school board member Mr. Hood has demonstrated that he supports discrimination against gays and lesbians. It's fair to ask Allstate if Mr. Hood is allowed to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers and what Allstate—with its corporate commitment to diversity and non-discrimination—intends to do about the notorious homophobe that it currently employs in Fulton. Ask 'em:

directors@allstate.com