A follow up on the original story about  Constance McMillan’s desire to go to her own prom with her girl friend has lead to a less than conclusive end:


ABERDEEN, Miss. — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Itawamba County, Miss., school board violated the rights of a lesbian student by canceling the prom when the student challenged a ban on same-sex dates, but the judge stopped short of ordering the district to reinstate the April 2 prom.U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson said he denied the injunction request because a private prom parents are planning will serve the same purpose as the school prom and because “requiring defendants to step back into a sponsorship role at this late date would only confuse and confound the community on the issue.”

 Did Constance win/lose or did she lose/win?  The school violated her rights.  However the judge isn’t going to make things right.  The school will not be forced to have a prom.  The private prom folks will not be forced to admit Constance.  Constance must go to the gay and lesbian prom instead of to her school prom.  Does this sound like forced segregation to you?

The federal judge sounds like the chicken you-know- what judge to me.  I thought the entire point of these kinds of court rulings was to either say yes her rights were violated and fix things or no her rights were not violated, go home and get over it.   I guess there is a lot of laughter and snickering in the Itawamba County school district today.  I guess they showed “them thar dykes a thing or 3 now didn’t they?”   What a shame that this young woman’s civil rights weren’t upheld. 

Maybe Constance McMillan has the last laugh after all.  She appeared on the” Ellen” and was awareded $30,000 in scholarship money by the talk show host who said she was so proud of her.  DeGeneres said:

“I admire you so much. “When I was your age I never would have had the strength to do what you are doing.”


Meanwhile, her ACLU lawyer is preparing round 2 of her legal battle. 

USA Today story

28 Thoughts to “Update on Mississippi Teen Lesbian and the Prom”

  1. I’d say $30,000 in scholarships, appearing on ELLEN and being backed by the ACLU marks some kind of winning. Hell, if I had that kind of backing in my own legal case, I’d be sitting pretty.

    But you are right about the judge. He basically is saying it’s okay to segregate, so long as you do it quietly.

    I’d like to know where this “private prom” is taking place.

  2. PWC Taxpayer

    You’ll luv this but it may help to explain:

    “Despite the Pentagon’s steps toward repealing the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gay and lesbian service members, it remains, to the surprise of many, legal for agencies to discriminate against federal employees based on sexual orientation.

    This was reiterated by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which recently granted summary judgment in favor of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a case filed by a Federal Air Marshal (FAM) who alleged discrimination based on sexual orientation. See Anderson v. Napolitano, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, Case No. 09-60744.

    In Anderson, plaintiff brought a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for sex discrimination on the basis of gender stereotyping. Specifically, he alleged that DHS “undertook a campaign of harassment and discrimination” against him “because it perceived Plaintiff, as a homosexual, to be a man who did not conform with gender stereotypes associated with men in our society.”

  3. Starryflights

    Good for Ms. McMillan. She will come out ahead as a result of all this.

  4. Basically she was found to have had her rights violated. There was just no corrective action taken.

  5. marinm

    I think it’s a fair ruling. She won (assuming the board doesn’t appeal) and the school isn’t forced to do another reverse of course harming the rights of all the parents, sponsors, and students that have already planned out another event.

    You would hope that people could be adults and work together and compromise but thats another reason why we have the judicial system – for someone else to proclaim “cut the living child in two”.

  6. What did it decide Marin? What good did it do her to win if she didn’t get what she wanted in the first place which is to go to the prom with the date of her choice?

    What if she wanted her date to be a black male? How about a 25 year old white male?
    She received no redress. That’s the problem.

  7. Rick Bentley

    I don’t even understand off hand how they distinguish a same-sex “date” from two friends hanging together …

  8. punchak

    Naive punchak thought that a kid could ask anyone he/she wanted to the prom.

    There are girls and boys who aren’t popular enough to be asked, you know, still they’d like to go. Talk about making a mountain of a molehill (not even that)!

  9. @Rick Bentley
    I think if they hold hands, it’s a date. But I could be wrong. There’s some kind of adolescent rule here that most of us probably don’t know.

  10. Emma

    @punchak When I was in high school, the rule was that you had to have a date to go to the prom. Talk about leaving people out.

    Anyway, no one can force a school to hold a prom to make things all better here.

  11. marinm

    Moon-howler :What did it decide Marin? What good did it do her to win if she didn’t get what she wanted in the first place which is to go to the prom with the date of her choice?
    What if she wanted her date to be a black male? How about a 25 year old white male?She received no redress. That’s the problem.

    The law isn’t always about redress.

    As the prom is an optional event hosted by the school – how can you force the school to host it?

  12. Constance naively told school officials she wanted to wear a tux.

  13. I think the prom is this weekend. Other arrangements had been made for a private prom. This will be one of those cases where others will profit from Constance standing up for what she felt was right.

    She clearly won, but ultimately lost. I believe that the courts could force a prom since one had been scheduled. It is sort of self defeating to do that though.

  14. marinm

    Part of being a Saint in Catholism is sacrifice. She may not get her prom but someone else may because of her.

    She may take sollace in that.

    I still think the school did what was right. Just wish that both sides would’ve compromised. My hangup is on the tux btw. Could care less about her sexual orientation.

  15. Why do you think she is Catholic?

    Straight women wear a tux all the time. That doesn’t bother me at all.

    I think if the prom was in May or June the school would have been told to reinstate the prom. I just don’t think there was time with the court case. And if the school is prevented from this kind of discrimination in the future, then the sacrifice might be worth it to Constance. She seems like a very squared away young woman.

  16. Second-Alamo

    Anything goes baby, anything goes! Hell, someday they’ll be allowed to bring their own sheep date. I tell you the world is turning into a freak show, and the freaks are beginning to run it. Hopefully the people you personally dislike and don’t want at your gatherings (and don’t tell me everyone must love everyone, that seldom happens even in large families) are of the same race and sexual orientation or you’re SOL, because they’ll just raise a stink and be there anyway.

  17. marinm

    LOL.. no MH, I didn’t mean or assume that she is/was Catholic. I appologize if that wasn’t clear. What I meant was that a martyr doesn’t gain from the sacrifice they make.. It’s what makes them special.

    She may not get her prom but she may have earned it for others.

    The school may just ban all prom’s in the future. There is nothing that says they MUST throw a prom.

    It’s not her wearing the prom that’s the issue more of..if you relax the dress code then what is and is not acceptable? Could a male wear a bikini to prom? Could he wear a prom dress? What would be the new limit? Just creates more problems without much benefit.

  18. SA, I think sheep went out of vogue when blow up dolls came on the scene.

    Nah, I hate a lot of people. I just don’t think schools get to exclude people. They should control the behavior at the Prom however.

    If you are the host, I guess you get to choose who gets to come to the gathering.

  19. There is a lot of wiggle room between a tux and a bikini. I would think everyone having to wear formal or semi formal wear should take care of the bikini problem.

    Who cares if a girl dresses in a tux. That is really hung up. I guess if a male wanted to wear a prom dress he could. However, it is acceptable for women to wear pants. Society is less kind to males wanting to wear skirts. So make a rule, no skirts for males. I don’t thinkyou can insist that women wear skirts.

  20. Happy Harry

    As a former prom sponsor, some basic things (at least here in PWC):
    1. You can go solo
    2. You can go 2 girls (many girls did this – they were friends who usually wanted to have a drama free night and went with each other instead of boys)
    3. You can go 2 boys
    4. As long as your boobs aren’t hanging out and your ass crack isn’t showing (boys and girls – some of those backless dresses dip down pretty far), you can wear whatever you want wear. I saw powder blue tuxes, the infamous “tuxedo” shirt, cowboy boots, you name it – and yes, we even had some students come in a kilt one year. And I’ve seen several girls in white tuxes with their friends. As long as they aren’t procreating on the dance floor, I didn’t care what they were wearing.

    Prom is no longer what it was in the past – quite honestly, it’s a PITA to organize and have to deal with. Not to mention the cost. And the behavior at prom is horrendous. It is truly drama city – break ups, fights on the dance floor, girls crying in the bathroom, boys outside fighting. It’s not worth the hassle (or the law suits!)

    The thing is – prom isn’t a guaranteed school activity. It’s not like graduation (and I don’t even thing graduation is a guaranteed activity). School law says that you have to get 180 days of education in certain subjects – and prom isn’t one.

    But at least she got some college $ – that’s better than a prom any day of the week!

  21. marinm


    Thanks for the insight. I don’t relish your job. I work with computers – they are less frustrating then dealing with kids. 😉

    From a taxpayer perspective… elimination of school sponsored prom’s would be a real money saver!

  22. Second-Alamo

    Notice how lawsuits seem to be at the bottom of most decisions these days. This is why so many activities that most boomers enjoyed as kids are no longer available to kids today for fear of lawsuits. Heck, you can’t organize anything if even so much as one person objects these days. It’s all about pleasing the few at the expense of the many. As so too goes healthcare.

  23. @Moon-howler

    Actually, one of those was sent to one of my buddies when we were deployed to Kuwait. He inflated it and suspended it from the roof of his tent. The looks on the faces of the “inspectors” were always priceless.

  24. Censored bybvbl

    Lol at Moon and Cargo and the blow up toys!

  25. Happy Harry

    The schools don’t front any of the money – the junior class puts on the prom and they have to do all the fundraising or else there is no prom 😉

  26. @Second-Alamo
    SA, if you go by the can’t-stand-someone rule, no one could be admitted. Kids always hate other kids, yet those others are invited. You will always find someone to dislike.

    Kids are different now than they were in my generation and yours. It’s the norm for generations to change, sometimes drastically, as in the 1960’s and 70’s. It might have been easier to take it when we were young, but as we age, it becomes more difficult. The generation gap sets in.

    Then again, some people just can’t adapt to changes. That’s okay, too, but it makes it harder on that person. We live in a changing world.

  27. I agree that people are too quick to sue. However, something as simple as the right to go to prom, I don’t blame her.

    Marin, you have to be the biggest kill-joy in the world. You would deprive kids on a prom just to save money?

    To many kids, prom defines their high school experience. You are too young to be that jaded. Me? I think it is shallow and vapid of them. But you should be young enough to have some empathy for kids.

Comments are closed.