gay and lesbian rights

gay and lesbian rights

Constance McMillen Wins $35K from Homophobic School District


image via The AP

Constance McMillen, who has become a gay-rights poster child for wanting to take her girlfriend to prom, was awarded $35,000 from the Itawamba County School District, reports the Associated Press. The school district canceled its prom rather than allow a same-sex couple to attend the dance. The ACLU filed a discrimination lawsuit on the 18-year-old’s behalf, demanding reparations and that the prom be reinstated.

Although the judge would not force the high school to hold prom, he did rule that McMillen’s rights had been violated. As part of the agreement, the school also agreed to follow a new policy not to discriminate based on sexual orientation in any educational or extracurricular activities.

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Lesbian Teen Misses Prom, Becomes Gay Rights Activist

Along with graduation, homecoming and rivalry football games, prom is one of those rites of passage that every high-school student hopes to attend. That wasn’t an option for Constance McMillen. Her school canceled prom instead of letting her bring her girlfriend.Constance McMillen

McMillen was upfront about her sexual orientation, and, although her high school in Fulton, Miss. hadn’t let same-sex dates to prom in the past, she hoped to make a change. When the school refused to let her bring a same-sex date, McMillen contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed suit.

After the school was found to be in violation of the First Amendment, officials responded by first canceling prom and then creating a “fake” prom for McMillen to attend. The rest of her classmates had prom at a concealed location at an event organized by parents.

“It’s wrong for schools to do that; it’s wrong to discriminate,” McMillen told The Associated Press. Read the rest of this entry »


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