Meet Australia's Constance McMillen
BY Advocate.com Editors
November 09 2010 3:15 PM ET
A 16-year-old all-girls’ school student was all dressed up with nowhere to go on prom night — Hannah Williams’s teacher at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar in Melbourne, Australia, had told the student weeks before that she couldn't attend the dance with her 15-year-old girlfriend.
Williams tells The Sydney Morning Herald that on the night of the dance, after inviting friends to her home for “pre-drinks,” she watched her classmates file out the door, walked back inside, and took off her dress.
She had been instructed to attend with a male instead.
“It made me very upset,” she said. “I thought it was unfair so I didn’t go.”
What Williams had done beforehand was meet with the school’s principals and review the Equal Opportunity Act. Williams says friends even put up posters around school.
When that didn’t produce results, Hannah’s father, Peter Williams, lodged a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission, alleging the school had discriminated against his daughter because of her sexual orientation.
Because of the experience, Williams has transferred to a “more accepting” government school. Her girlfriend Savannah is looking into a transfer too.
The story is similar to that of Constance McMillen, the 18-year-old Mississippi high-schooler who was barred from attending prom with her girlfriend earlier this year.
Read more here.
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