Court sides with lesbian student over prom discrimination, but won't force school to hold prom

Posted by JD Uy
March 24, 2010 7:48 AM |

''The record shows Constance has been openly gay since eighth grade and she intended to communicate a message by wearing a tuxedo and to express her identity through attending prom with a same-sex date. The Court finds this exipression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment. The Court is also of the opinion that the motive behind the School Board's cancellation of the prom, or withdrawal of their sponsorship, was Constance's requests and the ACLU's demand letter sent on her behalf. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that Constance's First Amendment rights have been violated and therfore, she has established, by a preponderance of the evidence, a substantial likelihood of success on the merits with respect to her First Amendment claim.''

Part of a ruling by Judge Davidson of the US District Court in Mississippi which finds for the plaintiff, Constance McMillen, in a widely reported case of high school discrimination. McMillen is a lesbian who wanted to bring her female date to the prom, and also requested to wear a tuxedo. Both requests were denied by her schoo, and when she turned to the ACLU for help, the school canceled the traditional high school dance completely. A private prom has been established by parents and, unfortunately, they have chosen to excluded Constance McMillen from the event. (ACLU)


''All I ever wanted was for my school to treat me and my girlfriend like any other couple that wants to go to prom. Now we can all get back to things like picking out our prom night outfits and thinking about corsages.''

Constance McMillen, 18, responding to her court victory against her high school which discriminated against her right to attend her senior prom with a female date while wearing a tuxedo. (ACLU)



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