March 23rd, 2010
05:02 PM ET

Judge rules against lesbian high schooler in prom case

[Updated, 5:02 p.m.] In his 12-page order, U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson denied a motion for an injunction filed by Constance McMillen, a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, against the Itawamba County School District's superintendent, the school's principal and its assistant principal.

In his order, Davidson ruled that McMillen failed to show that granting the injunction would serve the public interest.

Read the judge's opinion | Read the full story

[Posted, 4:44 p.m.] A federal judge on Tuesday said he would not order a school district to hold a prom that it had canceled after an openly lesbian student asked to attend with her girlfriend.

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  1. richard

    Thinking such as this casts a shadow on the Mississippi – if not on the entire US – that the whole world sees.

    It's time for me to find another place to live.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Why do you ask my name

    The backlash has begun... These people should not expected to be catered to... If you want to take your gay date dancing, I don't care at all, but if the school says no, you have to take no for an answer because, first off, it's not your school... I don't mind what you are, but if you can't get into prom, then go to a bar where people like you hang out. Your schoolmates will remember this for as long as they live.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    She is gay and the school is taking a stand. They feel that it is not
    appropriate to allow a gay student (a minor by the way) to attend the prom.

    Wait wait ... before you flame me about "her" rights ... attending the prom is not a
    right by the way ... think about the "rights" of the school and the other 500 students
    who do not want her there.

    This is not about the colour of her skin, or her religion – this is about her
    choice of a life partner – er ... I mean "girlfriend". Race and religion discrimination
    is wrong ... life partner choice – is just that – a choice.

    And by the way ... I am from Canada .... we would (in general) agree with
    school.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dick

    If nobody gets to go, who is being discriminated against? There is no prom for blacks, whites. straights, gays, etc. Every person is being denied a prom. Not just the lesbians.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob in Austin

    In this part of the world it is not uncommon for a group of girls or a group of boys to attend Prom without a date of the opposite sex. Why is this even an issue?

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mark

    the key here is equality. the school district was put in a position where it would be forced to treat the students unfairly. thusly the prom was cancelled to prevent any discrimination on the part of the school. lay the blame where it should lie, with a girl who forced her views on the rest of the student body for her own personal advancement. and the 30k scholarship she received is further proof of this.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ted

    Thank you Judge. The kids should not be subjected to this display of human waste. If they subscribe to being like animals then let them have their freedom to go someplace else.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mrrealtime

    Replace the word "lesbian" with "jew" or "christian" or "evangelical" and you'd see a big uproar from the GOP. Discrimination cuts both ways, folks.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RLE

    I can't' believe the court would exemplify such bigotry!

    This is very sad to see

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JudgeGlenHDavidson

    Yes! Keep those dirty fruits down as long as we can!

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. calmdown

    Well, she got some discussion going didn't she? I don't know if that is what she intended, but major kudos to her if that was her intent.

    She most likely could have just gone to the prom with her GF, like many hetero girls do all the time.

    But she chose to make it an issue. Or, was she forced to make it an issue, out of fear that there would be harm done to her and her GF? I wonder how the couple is treated by other students at the school. I don't know the details.

    Either way, I'm all for making it a legal right to attend a publicly funded event with whoever you want.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. really?

    Davidson ruled that McMillen failed to show that granting the injunction would serve the public interest.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jeff Redondo Beach

    Very sticky issue here. What's wrong with gays/lesbians attending a prom? Nothing from our perspective, but obviously the school district objected. If this issue started with a demand from the ACLU to allow these girls to attend as indicated in a previous missive, then the school was probably annoyed to start with and simply reacted with cancelling the dance as an easier option than contending with all the issues/publicity associated with allowing it to happen. However, having said all that, it must be clear that the appeal was judged simply on its legal merits regardless of the sensitivity of the issue involved. The courts ruled that the school was within its' rights to cancel the dance. Sad that the rest of the student body lost their prom. But one must remember, prom's are not a right, but an affair that must be put together with the approval of the school involved.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Samuel

    What I don't see here is the specific reason or reasons why the judge believed that granting the injunction would not serve the public interest. Remember, the school cancelled the prom entirely and the girl was asking the court to force the school to hold one. As a previous commenter said, nobody has a constitututional right to have a prom. If the school decided to unilaterally cancel the prom then everyone has been afffected equally. If the school held the prom and barred the young lady because she was a lesbian or wanted to bring a same sex date that would clearly be discrimination.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Erin D.

    To Jay Delgado:

    Try reading the facts before you climb on top of your soap box. The girl DID ask first. The school issued a notice the next day that the kids had to bring dates of the opposite sex, and dress in the traditional manner. It was after that bit of passive agressive discrimination that she contacted the ACLU, and rightly so.

    And frankly, so what if she HAD demanded? American citizens should demand what is their right, the right to equality, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed.

    I hope this case is appealed. Clearly our country has not yet advanced into the modern era, when such a flagrant case of discrimination is not rebuked by our justice system.

    March 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
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