Canadian 17-year-old student Marc Hall filed suit against the Durham Catholic School Board in 2002 after his request to bring his boyfriend, 21-year-old Jean-Paul Dumond, to the prom was denied by Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School on grounds that homosexuality is not in line with the Roman Catholic teachings of the school. A judge disagreed and granted an injunction, both allowing Hall and Dumond to attend prom – which they did – and preventing the school from canceling the prom altogether. During the heated controversy, school board member Stan Karwowski resigend after it was revealed that he sent emails in which he called Hall a “faggot.” The story was the inspiration for the 2005 film Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story.
A lesbian honors student who was told by her school principal that she was not allowed to wear a tuxedo to her senior prom has now been informed that she may wear the attire, it has emerged.
Claudetteia Love, 17, said last week that she and her friends would not go to Carroll High School’s prom in Monroe, Louisiana, because Principal Patrick Taylor had told her she had to wear a dress.
Her comments sparked an outpouring of support from across the country – from her classmates, who signed a petition to persuade the school to change its mind, to gay rights groups and strangers.
But now, Principal Taylor and Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland – who had backed Claudetteia – have reportedly told the student that she can wear a tux to the prom after all.
In the release, Claudetteia, who is openly gay, said she had been inspired by the countless supportive comments and offers she has received in the wake of her controversial tuxedo ban.
The support included a local businessman’s offer to create a prom for her and her friends, and a letter sent to school superintendents in the state by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
“The outpouring of support has been incredible and inspiring; it is a source of strength that I will keep with me as I move on the next phase of my education and life beyond high school,’ said Claudetteia.
She added she was ‘thankful’ for the school’s latest decision. ‘I am looking forward to celebrating the end of my senior year with my friends and classmates at the prom, like any other student,’ she said.
Last week, Claudetteia’s mother, Geraldine Jackson, who is ‘fully supportive’ of her daughter’s gay identity, said Principal Taylor had told her staff would not supervise the prom if girls wore tuxedo.
The Principal said. “Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is”,
Meanwhile, Claudetteia told the local newspaper: ‘I told my mom, “They’re using me”. They put me in all these honors and advanced placement classes so I can take all of these tests and get good grades and better the school, but when it’s time for me to celebrate the fact that I’ve accomplished what I need to accomplish and I’m about to graduate, they don’t want to let me do it the way I want to.’
She added: ‘There are people in the world that won’t accept you but they don’t have to be so judgmental and make you feel like you’re less of a person and that you shouldn’t express yourself.’
Ms Jackson and Claudetteia are both now ‘very happy’ after Caroll High School reversed its ban.