Judge: Lesbian couple can go to school prom
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Two female students at Scottsboro High School attended the prom together hours after a judge’s ruling defeated the school board’s efforts to block the gay teens.
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham ruled late Saturday morning, March 29, that the board could not ban Chelsea Overstreet and Lauren Martin from the junior-senior prom at the town’s civic center that night.
"It’s something they had been planning for a year," Martin’s mother, Connie Farrington, said at a news conference at their attorney’s office. "Just like every other child, she was ecstatic."
School officials told the girls they could not attend the prom as a couple the day before spring break two weeks ago, their mothers said.
They had already bought their prom tickets and formal wear for the dance, Farrington said.
"It was a big letdown" for the girls, she said.
Graham’s decision cited two federal court rulings. In one, the U.S. Supreme Court said states and state agencies "cannot set-out homosexuals for special treatment." The other prohibits public schools "from barring same-sex couples from school functions."
The Huntsville Times was unable to reach school officials for comment Saturday.
Attorney Parker Edmiston did not make the teens available for comment, though they did pose for photos.
Overstreet, a 17-year-old junior, wore her prom dress while 16-year-old sophomore Martin had on a tuxedo.
"This is just a dance," Edmiston said. "Adults need not get involved."
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 4, 2008.