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Victoria Scott, a 2013 Mercy graduate from Oxford attending a university in upstate New York, was among former students who weighed in on the Mercy senior's request.She and others started a website around the social media hashtag #we PROMise and are awaiting a response from Mercy, the Norwich Diocese, the Hartford Diocese and the Vatican, which have all received the petition."I would like to know what the issues are that would take so long to make a decision," Scott said."We've brought this issue to light, waiting for a response, and the 'why' hasn't been answered."Scott came out as a lesbian after high school.She said most of the gay students at Mercy when she attended didn't feel comfortable or welcomed by the administration, and said the school hasn't provided an adequate reason yet why it can't allow girls to take another girl to the prom."It's not expected that the school is going to have all the same values as the students going there," Scott said. But what the school promotes is equal treatment of people and creating a good environment to raise strong, healthy women of Mercy."Scott said she and other alumni were distressed by the school's response to the petition. To completely disregard it as an issue is a slap in the face." Strammiello said he expects the discussion with students to continue."All conversation about such issues is healthy; the school agrees with that," Strammiello said.
A senior at Mercy High School in Middletown, an all-girls Catholic school, wanted to bring another girl as her date to the prom.A follow-up petition by Westbrook resident Colin Bennett seeking an apology and change in policy from Mercy went up a few days later, gathering another 1,600 supporters.Bennett has no connection to Mercy, but said he felt the school owed an apology to the student and the community."Leaving open the possibility that it's not a moral choice, it's natural, is different than saying the rules no longer apply.The way these two things have been squared in most Catholic circles is if it's a fact that you're attracted to members of the same sex, the norms of sexual behavior still apply, so if you're gay, you've got to be celibate."In general, church teachings say impulses themselves are not sins but acting on those impulses is a sin.