Friday, March 19, 2010

Lesbian Teen Sues High School for Forbidding her to Bring Her Girlfriend to Prom. So the School Cancelled the Prom! I hope Constance Succeeds, on Civil Rights Grounds

I have major disagreements, politically, with the ACLU: [U.S.] American Civil Liberties Union. That they value and fight for libertarians in a society in which civil rights are being eroded, means that, ultimately, their power stands with the status quo, with the oppressors. So they defend the KKK, the pornographers, and refuse to frame a blatant discrimination case as a civil rights issue. Read on...

This piece is from *here*:

JACKSON, Miss. – A lesbian high school student embroiled in a legal flap over her school's prom policy has received a $30,000 scholarship on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Constance McMillen was speechless Friday when the talk show host pulled out an oversized check from the Web site Tonic.Com, a digital media company.

DeGeneres says she admires McMillen for challenging Itawamba County School District rules that would prevent her from escorting her girlfriend to the prom. The school district canceled the April 2 prom after McMillen's request.

A hearing is scheduled Monday in federal court in Aberdeen on American Civil Liberties Union efforts to force the district to hold the prom.

What follows is from here

Lesbian teen sues to force school to hold canceled prom

The Headlines item is averaging about 100 comments an hour so I guess you guys want to talk (er, keep talking) about this. Offers to host a private prom for the kids are pouring in and the teen herself is getting all kinds of support online and from the media, so I assume there’s going to be a happy ending here. It’s interesting to me mainly as a legal matter: Per the ACLU’s complaint, this is not a discrimination claim. It’s a First Amendment claim, alleging that McMillen would essentially be engaged in a form of speech (“communicative content”) about her orientation in wearing a tuxedo and bringing a girl to the prom. That’s weak — she’s not going to prom to make a statement, she’s going because she wants to dance and have fun with her girlfriend — but because the Equal Protection Clause has never been held to apply to sexual orientation, the ACLU really has no choice but to try the speech argument. Not sure it’ll work, but then the point isn’t to win the suit. It’s to turn up the heat on the school district until the bad publicity makes them cave or, at the very least, scares other districts that might do this into thinking twice. Working like a charm so far. Two videos for you below as illustrations.

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