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Legal Fees Awarded in Mississippi Prom Case

Yesterday, US District Judge Glen Davidson ordered Itawamba County school district in Mississippi to cover the legal fees and expenses of Constance McMillen, who filed a lawsuit after she was banned from taking her girlfriend to prom and from wearing a tuxedo. According to the New York Times, the legal fees amounted to $81,000. In July, the school district agreed to pay McMillen over $35,000 in damages as a result of her lawsuit against the school district’s anti-gay policies. The agreement also requires the school district to adopt a non-discrimination policy that includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In February, after McMillen requested that her school lift the ban on same-sex couples attending prom, a memorandum was sent to all students, stating that all prom dates must be of the opposite sex. McMillen’s school eventually cancelled the prom based on the “the education, safety and well-being of [its] students,” according to CNN after the American Civil Liberties Union became involved. In April, McMillen was invited to a decoy prom, in order to prevent her from attending a separate prom parents had organized. According to McMillen, “They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them. The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to,” reported the Advocate.

Sources:

New York Times 10/26/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/21/10; CNN 7/20/10; Advocate 4/5/10