According to the local newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, some residents fear that their small town will be seen as “gay friendly”:
“People who don’t know the area will think [the school’s decision] reflects on everybody,” Cochran resident John Smith said.
The Telegraph also reported that some students are advocating for a separate, private prom that would have legal authority to exclude same-sex couples.
The organizer of Thursday’s rally said she returned her prom ticket and demanded a refund:
“I don’t believe in going up there and dancing with gay guys like that,” Amber Duskin said. “It’s also not just him bringing a boy. It was bringing all this attention to it.”
As for the student at the center of the controversy, 18-year-old Derrick Martin says he still plans on bringing his boyfriend to prom.
GLAAD will continue to follow developments in this story. For updates, check GLAADblog.org