HRC Blog

Georgia Student Allowed Same-Sex Prom Date; Parents Kick Him Out

This post is from HRC Youth and Campus Outreach Associate Director Candace Gingrich-Jones: You gotta love it that Georgia is more progressive than Mississippi. Not that there is some kind of competition going on, but if there was Georgia might win. In January, Bleckley County High School senior Derrick Martin asked permission to bring his same-sex date to his school’s prom. Any student at Bleckley High who wants to bring a date from another county has to request permission – it just happened that Martin’s out-of-county date was another boy. Well, he recently got word that his request has been approved. While he’s been out and open at school since his sophomore year, Martin knows that not everyone is supportive. There may be the opportunity for those less-than-supportive classmates to make their feelings known during the “lead out” when the school announces/introduces each senior and his/her date. But Martin’s aware of that and showing he has a sense of humor -- he says he plans to take out insurance on his tuxedo. In some way I’m sure that the goings-on at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Mississippi over a similar request paved the way for this Georgia school to do the right thing. As I posted before, IAHS senior Constance McMillen wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom but instead of approving her school cancelled prom outright. The ACLU took on the case and recently won a moral victory when Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled on Tuesday that the district had indeed violated McMillen’s  rights when they cancelled prom because she asked to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.  This is a big victory but unfortunately the court didn’t grant the ACLU’s request that prom be reinstated at the school. Some Itawamba parents have organized an alternative prom to take place in nearby Tupelo. But get this --possibly to publicly re-affirm the town’s prejudice, Constance has not been invited. BREAKING: Unfortunately Derrick Martin’s sense of humor is being tested to the max. He recently shared with the Macon Telegraph that due to the publicity over the prom his parents had kicked him out of the house and he was staying with a friend. I predict that there will soon be a PFLAG swarm in Cochran, Georgia very soon. Mr. & Mrs. Martin let me introduce you to fierce and ferocious PFLAG parents. Prepare to be educated.

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