Lesbian Student Fights for Tuxedo Yearbook Photo

A lesbian student’s battle to appear in a tuxedo in her yearbook photo could be headed to court, unless her Mississippi high school responds to a demand from the American Civil Liberties Union before October 23.

The civil rights organization sent a letter to Ronald Greer, principal of Wesson Attendance Center, on behalf of Ceara Sturgis, 17, an out lesbian honor student and athlete whose yearbook photo was rejected by Greer on the grounds that she wore a tuxedo.

ACLU legal director Kristy Bennett calls the principal’s action a violation of the student’s First Amendment rights, according to CBS.

“Bennett said the teenager's constitutional rights are being violated,” CBS News reported. “Bennett said similar cases, including same-sex prom couples and girls wearing tuxedos to proms, have been successfully challenged in court in other states. ACLU officials said they were unaware of any other constitutional disputes involving gay teens at Mississippi schools.”

A state department of education spokesman told CBS News that there is no policy concerning yearbook photo issues.

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