March 11th, 2010
03:06 PM ET

Prom canceled over lesbian student

Constance McMillen

A Mississippi High School faces a lawsuit over its decision to cancel its prom rather than allow a lesbian high school student attend with her girlfriend.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleges that officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, are violating the student's First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

The ACLU asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to reinstate the prom.

"All I wanted was the same chance to enjoy my prom night like any other student. But my school would rather hurt all the students than treat everyone fairly," said the student, 18-year-old Constance McMillen, in an ACLU news release. "This isn't just about me and my rights anymore – now I'm fighting for the right of all the students at my school to have our prom."

Officials at the Itawamba County School District were not immediately available for comment.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • U.S.
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. C.I.

    For all of you who say they'll get sued no matter what they do: if that's the case why not do what they had planned all along? And who would sue the school board over allowing a lesbian to go to their prom? They might try, but the law wouldn't give them a leg to stand on! There were plenty of same-sex couples at my prom, and that was certainly not the reason it sucked! Really, as a moderate I'm ashamed at both sides for having such ridiculous arguments in a case like this. IT'S A NON-ISSUE!!!

    March 14, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Piet Strydom

    It is interesting to note the educational quality of the posts for and against, respectively.

    March 14, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jayden

    Well they should have let the prom go on and then make a huge announcment that there were 2 lezbos in the crowd. The kids should have been allowed to make fun of them so they would get up and leave. God has made a man and a woman. Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve. That's what people don't think about. Also them wanting to sue the school board is a stupid thing. For one the school board was only protecting themselves because if they did allow the prom to go on, and if infact it was allowed to have the kids to go off on these 2 lezbos then they would ask why didn't you do anything to protect them. So you are comdemmend in either way. They should let the prom go on but have only 1 guy for 1 girl, you would not see 2 guys with each other, that would be wrong. So why would it be ok to see 2 girls with each other.

    March 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cat

      After pointing them out to the crowd Jayden could hand out pitch forks and torches. I am sure that is how Jesus would have responded.

      June 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AS

    If the school cancelled Prom because she was planning to attend with a black student...then Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, the president, everyone be up in arms and ready to burn the school down over the incident. You and everybody else would be calling the school administration a bunch of racists... But if the school cancels prom because she's a lesbian....oh it's her fault. What a bunch of hypocrites!!

    March 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sweet g

    Why on earth is it this girl's fault prom got canceled? Sounds more like the fault of the people who actually canceled it.

    March 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sweet g

    PS – Why, for that matter, would it even be this one girl's fault when both she and her girlfriend are students?

    March 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Tim

    Funny...you can date your cousin in Mississippi but not another girl.

    March 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rebecca Johnson

    I find it interesting that less-educated, lower quality of life states are more conservative. What’s more, I find it interesting that less educated people from backwater states find it so hard to open their minds and evolve with the rest of the world. These people are driven by fear of the unknown and easily led into bigotry.

    March 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kate

    I went to prom with a group of female friends since I didn't have a date when I went to prom in high school, and I know that this situation is far from rare. How is this that different than if she had chosen to attend with a group of female friends? I don't see why the school really thought it was worth cancelling the prom over this.

    March 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Andrew

    A girl taking a girl to a prom doesn't take anything away from anyone else attending the prom. Isn't that obvious?

    March 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kate

    SHE was not the one who cancelled the prom, so don't blame her. And as for the person who asked why don't the lesbians get together and have their own prom, I believe black people also had their own proms in the 1960s. Separate but definitely NOT equal.

    March 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. btcsc

    First of all, a prom is a tradition not a requirement of the school. Second, being gay isn't a right of expression. Its a sexual choice of orientation.
    Did the school actually come fourth and say this, or are people assuming this?
    Besides, this isnt the first time schools have canceled proms.
    If the kids have their own money, take the prom somewhere else away from school grounds.

    March 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. momof3teens

    Good! It's about time we start standing up for moral values again. Our grandparents never had to worry about being politically correct. My daughter did go to prom and homecoming last year and had to watch 2 lesbians making out. NO ONE wanted to see it! NO ONE!

    March 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tayo

    if the school cancelled the prom simply because a gay couple was going to attend, that's unlawful discrimination. but if the school cancelled prom for some other reason, that is in their power. i predict we will see the school make up a different reason to cancel the prom, a local venue will donate their space for the prom, and it will be held privately.

    shameful of the school to cancel a prom like this, and put it all on the shoulders of this couple. it's unfair, and telling of how ignorant and un-american the school administration is.

    March 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jim Lewis

    I am not a homosexual, nor do I find myself generally interested in or supportive of their cause. Nor am I a homophobe. On this case, I think the school board looks pretty petty and spiteful however.

    I wish this young lady luck with her efforts. It seems the governments of Mississippi are not quite done sitting on the wrong side of a civil rights argument and behaving badly.

    March 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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