A special education teacher from Sullivan, Indiana is joining a group of students, parents and other Christians in the community who are calling for a prom that bans LGBT people because she says they have no "purpose in life."
WTWO-TV reported that the group met at Sullivan First Christian Church on Sunday to discuss creating a prom that only allowed straight students as an alternative to the inclusive prom at Sullivan High School.
"We don't agree with [homosexuality]," special education teacher Diana Medley told the station. "It's offensive to us."
Sullivan High School student Kynon Johnson explained that the group want to "get more people to follow what they believe" by providing a "good prom."
"We believe what the Bible says, it says that it's wrong," student Bonnie McCammon insisted. "And we love the homosexuals, but we do not condone what they're doing."
But not everyone agrees. Jim Davis, a Christian who lives in Sullivan, said that Jesus did not condemn anyone, including LGBT people.
"He come here to save the world, not to condemn it," Davis observed. "Love them as a person, you don't have to love what they do because they may not, I mean, the gays may not like the bad things you make mistakes at."
Medley, however, disagreed because she believes homosexuality is a choice for LGBT people.
"I don't believe they were born that way," she opined. "I think life circumstances made them choose that. I think God made everybody equal... I have kids come to me because of their sexual preference. And they know I don't agree with it, but care about you. And the same thing for special needs. God puts those people in our life for special reasons."
WTWO-TV reporter Paige Preusse asked Medley if she thought "gay people had some sort of purpose in life."
After taking a deep breath, the teacher replied: "I don't. I personally don't. I'm sorry. I just -- I don't understand it... A gay student or adult or person isn't going to come up isn't going to come up and make some change, unless it's because they realize, 'You know what? It was a choice and I'm choosing God.'"
Local pastor Bill Phegley remarked that he supported the straight prom movement because Christians in Sullivan were no longer going to be silent about their opposition to homosexuality.
"Christians have always been prepared for a fight, but Jesus Christ give us armor for the front, not the back," Phegley said. "We aren't running no more."
LGBT columnist Dan Savage on Sunday called for people to contact the school system over Medley's comments.
"Students with learning disabilities have it hard enough without getting stuck with a mentally challenged special ed teacher," Savage wrote. "Take a good look at the condescending, hateful smirk that spreads across Medley's face when she was asked if gay people have a purpose in life... and then imagine you're a gay kid in special ed in Sullivan and this hateful bigot is your teacher."
Following publication of Savage's column, a page supporting the straight prom was removed from Facebook.
By the time of publication of this report, a Change.org petition asking Northeast School Corporation of Sullivan County to fire Medley had almost 800 signatures. A Facebook page supporting diversity at the Sullivan High School prom also had 955 "likes."