Girl Denied Permission to Bring Girlfriend, Wear Tux to PromIn 2010, 18-year-old Constance McMillen requested to wear a tuxedo to accompany her girlfriend at the Itawamba County Agricultural High School prom outside Jackson, MS. After denying the student's request and another from the ACLU, the Itawamba County School District decided to cancel the prom completely, citing "recent distractions," but insinuating that it was all McMillen's fault. The school district then asked parents to organize a private prom, which they did - but did not invite McMillen. Later, a federal judge ruled that the school district violated her First Amendment rights. The district and McMillen settled out of court.
Gay Prom Date Leads to Landmark Court CaseIn one of the earliest cases of its kind, Paul Guilbert was denied a request to take his boyfriend, Brown University senior Ed Miskevich, to the 1979 junior prom at Cumberland High School in Rhode Island. One year later, another gay student, Aaron Fricke, was denied a similar request by Principal Richard Lynch. Fricke v. Lynch, the landmark case heard by the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, ruled against Lynch and allowed Fricke and his boyfriend to attend the prom. The case is now cited as a precedent that establishes legal right for students to bring same-sex partners to school events.
GA Student Body President Stripped of Title After LGBT ControversyReuben Lack, a senior at Alpharetta High School in Georgia, was stripped of his title as Student Body President in April 2012 after he introduced a resolution to change the titles of Prom King and Queen in favor of more gender-neutral titles for the Prom Court. He sought the legislation in an effort to make the prom more friendly for LGBT students. Lack took the issue of his dismissal all the way to the Eighth Circuit Court where a judge ruled in favor of the school, stating that he would have been dismissed anyway due to other office violations (i.e. he was a bit of a punk).
GA Teen Kicked Out of Home in Wake of Gay Prom Date DramaDerrick Martin, a senior at Bleckley County High School in Georgia, faced a different type of resistance after seeking approval to bring his boyfriend to the prom in 2010. The school principal first said he did not think the small town of Cochran was "ready for that kind of change," but as the school only had restrictions against attendees over age 21, they eventually allowed his request. However, after Martin's victory hit the press, his family kicked him out of their home due to the heavy media attention brought on by the incident. Martin used struggle as motivation to do good and started Project LifeVest to help LGBTQ youths facing adversity.
Male Student Disqualified After Winning Prom Queen TitleIn April 2012, McClintock High School in Tempe, AZ, made news after disqualifying a student who had campaigned for - and had won, solely from write-in votes - Prom Queen. River Flanary, a 17-year-old straight male, had sought to win the title and even wear a dress to the event to make a statement in support of the LGBT community at his school, in an effort to stand up "for those who maybe weren't bold enough to stand up before, and maybe putting that courage in their hearts a little."
Despite winning the majority vote, Flanary was denied the title by school officials. At last report, he still planned to wear his custom-made dress to the prom.
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