Catholic school bans same-sex prom date
All Roseanne Strott wanted was to take her date, another female student, to the school prom.
But she couldn’t: officials from the Catholic diocese said they could not attend together.
Her school, Bishop Feehan High School, falls under the rule of the Diocese of Fall River.
Ryan Palanza, head of the prom committee, told AP: “We have to adhere to the diocese’s rules. This is just a diocese thing.”
George A. Milot, superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Fall River, said the decision was made to keep the prom free of conflict.
“Having boys bring boys or girls bring girls opens the door to all kinds of scenarios that could lead to problems,” he told AP.
“We’re not willing to open the door.”
Ms Strott, a bisexual teenager who lives in the Attleboro section of Massachusetts, told the Sun Chronicle that school officials were mixed on her decision to go to prom with another girl.
“The vice principal of student life said it wasn’t her decision and that it didn’t matter to her,” she said.
“The principal said he was trying to protect students by keeping it traditional. I don’t understand that.”
Even though Ms Strott and her prom date are just friends and not dating, they still cannot attend the prom together.
She feels that she is being discriminated against because of her sexual orientation.
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On Friday, Ms Strott said she would instead be going with a group of her female friends to the prom, and was going to try to enjoy herself regardless.
“I do have to abide by the rules and I am. I just feel like it’s unfair,” she told the Chronicle.
“I’m still going to have a good time, but it would have been better if I was allowed to bring my friend.”
Sarah Wunsch, a lawyer for the ACLU in Massachusetts, told the AP that such a ban would not be lawful at a public school or a secular private school.
However, diocesan schools do not have to follow the same laws as other schools.
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