Monday, March 8, 2010

Mississippi High School Forbids Student to have Same-Sex Prom Date

Constance McMillen just wanted to be herself at her high school prom. Unfortunately, her high school in Mississippi has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend because they are both women. Furthermore, the school also forbade her from wearing a tuxedo to the prom. According to the ACLU:

McMillen said she approached school officials shortly before a memo about prom was circulated at school on February 5 that said same-sex dates would not be allowed, because she knew same-sex dates had been banned from prom in the past. McMillen met with the assistant principal and later the superintendent, who told her that they would not be allowed to arrive together, that she would not be allowed to wear a tuxedo to prom, and that she and her girlfriend might be thrown out if their presence made any other students “uncomfortable” at the April 2 event.”

Now, the ACLU and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition are demanding that the school allow McMillen to attend the prom with her girlfriend. Banning same-sex couples from the prom is unconstitutional, say these groups.

And in addition to being a violation of their First Amendment rights, “This kind of discriminatory treatment sends a message to LGBT students that they are not supported or accepted at school, and it sends a message to straight students that it is okay to discriminate against LGBT people,” says Mekina Morgan, Safe Schools Coordinator of PFLAG National.

Read the full statement from the ACLU and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition here.

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