First Amendment

Lesbian Teen's Rights Violated

A federal judge ruled that a lesbian teen's First Amendment rights were violated when her high school's administrators refused to allow her to bring her girlfriend to her prom. Constance McMillen, 18, wanted to wear a tux to Itawamba Agricultural High School's prom, in Fulton, Mississippi, but her school said no. She took her case to the ACLU, and in response, the school district canceled the dance. The judge found the tux to be protected speech, but declined to force the school to hold the dance. "The record shows Constance has been openly gay since eighth grade and she intended to communicate a message by wearing a tuxedo and to express her identity through attending prom with a same-sex date," the judge wrote. "The court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment."