Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
ACLU Demands Mississippi School Allow Lesbian Student To Attend Prom With Girlfriend
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
ACLU Demands Mississippi School Allow Lesbian Student To Attend Prom With Girlfriend

Group Tells School Its Ban On Same-Sex Prom Dates Is Unconstitutional 

    FULTON, MS - The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition today demanded that Itawamba County School District officials reverse their decision to forbid a lesbian student from attending prom with her girlfriend and from wearing a tuxedo to the prom. Constance McMillen, a student at Itawamba Agricultural High School, said that school officials told her that she could not arrive at the prom with her girlfriend, also a student at IAHS, and that they might be thrown out if any other students complained about their presence. 

  "Prom is one of those high school moments everyone should get to experience and enjoy. I didn't go to prom last year, so this is my only chance to go," said McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at the school in Fulton, a small town of about 3,900 in the northeastern corner of Mississippi. "We just want to be able to be ourselves at our own prom." 

  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. 

  "Prom is supposed to be about all students being able to express themselves, have fun, and make memories that will last the rest of their lives," said Kristy Bennett, Legal Director of the ACLU of Mississippi. "Constance has a constitutional right to take the person she's dating to the prom, just like any other student at any other public school." 

  In today's letter to Itawamba County School District officials, the ACLU cited federal court cases guaranteeing students' First Amendment right to bring same-sex dates to school dances, and also pointed out that treating McMillen and other lesbian, gay, and bisexual students differently from other students violates the Constitution's equal protection guarantees. In addition to illegally barring McMillen and her girlfriend from attending the prom together, the ACLU said that the school further violated McMillen's free expression rights by telling her that she can't wear a tuxedo to the prom.

    "We hope that informing the school about its legal obligations towards its students will make it think twice about treating Constance and her girlfriend any differently than it does any other student couple who wants to go to the prom," said Christine P. Sun, Senior Counsel with the ACLU national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, who represents McMillen along with the ACLU of Mississippi. "Schools that discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual students who want to bring same-sex dates to school dances need to know that by doing so they're violating established federal law, and we will call them on it."   

The ACLU and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition have given the school district until March 10, 2010 to respond to their letter. 

  Additional information, including a copy of the school's prom memo and the ACLU's demand letter, is available at http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/fulton-ms-prom-discrimination

  The Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition was formed in the fall of 2008 to address discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, or students perceived to be LGBT, in Mississippi public schools and colleges. The MSSC works closely with the ACLU of Mississippi to educate teachers, students, and administrators about the rights of LGBT students with the aim of making schools safer for all.

The MSSC is youth-led, and any questions about student rights at prom, starting a gay-straight alliance club, or any other safe schools issues can be directed to Ashley Jackson, facilitator, at ashley@mssafeschools.org. 

  ### 

  ACLU LGBT and AIDS Project, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004, (212) 549-2627 

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

ENDA vote in March, says Barney Frank
------------------------------
Navy lieutenant breaks silence to fight DADT
------------------------------
Uganda activists stand up to hate - Two human rights gatherings in Kampala
------------------------------
SOaP board changes 2010 Seattle Pride Parade theme
------------------------------
Out to Quit - FINAL WRAP-UP - Going through 'The Program'
------------------------------
Maryland now recognizes out-of-state Gay marriages
------------------------------
Changes celebrates 21st anniversary all year long
------------------------------
HRC Seattle holds bowling event and fundraiser
------------------------------
Jet Chapter K of M changes name after 38 years
------------------------------
Gay City revives LGBT Resource and Referral Phone Line and LGBT Library Project
------------------------------
Malawi couple lose appeal, to be sentenced March 22
------------------------------
Anti-Gay sentiment grows in Kenya
------------------------------
Argentine judge OKs second Gay marriage
------------------------------
British Anglicans OK church ceremonies for same-sex couples
------------------------------
International Court System receives Matthew Shepard Foundation's 'Essential Piece' Award
------------------------------
Jay Allan Schutter 1952-2010
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
D.C. schedules largest Gay wedding in history
------------------------------
Snubbed, homosexuals head to mass en masse
------------------------------
R-71 Backers To SCOTUS: Violent Homosfascists Are Going To Beat Us Up
------------------------------
Thousands celebrate Australia's Gay Mardi Gras
------------------------------
HIV Still Plagues the U.S.: Some Areas Have Higher Rates Than Africa
------------------------------
Netherlands gay protest over Catholic communion snub
------------------------------
VIDEO - Thousands strip for nude Spencer Tunick photo in Sydney
------------------------------
Seattle International Women's Day 2010
------------------------------
ACLU Demands Mississippi School Allow Lesbian Student To Attend Prom With Girlfriend
------------------------------
Court refuses to stop DC's gay marriage law
------------------------------
Senators introduce legislation to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy
------------------------------
150 same-sex couples seek marriage licenses in DC
------------------------------
More men file workplace sexual harassment claims
------------------------------
Couple celebrates first gay marriage in the City
------------------------------
Latin America's 1st gay marriage law takes effect
------------------------------
Louisiana Attorney General Again Appeals Decision Awarding Birth Certificate to Gay Parents of Adopted Son in Lambda Legal Case
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Grassroots Activists Gather to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
------------------------------
Vatican Enmeshed in Gay Sex Allegations
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2010

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News