Dozens gathered in Macon, Georgia on Friday to show their support for Derrick Martin, a gay high school senior who attracted national media attention after he announced that school officials would allow him to bring his boyfriend to prom.
The Macon Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that about 100 people attended the rally held by the Macon chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
Martin, 18, told The Telegraph that a local church has organized a separate prom for straight students only:
“I’ve called the pastor and youth minister and they say the same thing: ‘We can’t be part of an event of a lifestyle we don’t support.’ It confuses me for people to say they don’t want to be in the same room with me.”
Martin’s story came just weeks after a Mississippi teen sued her high school last month because school officials would not permit her to bring her girlfriend to prom.
A court later ruled that the girl’s rights had been breeched, but would not reinstate the prom because a private prom had been organized in its place.
The girl, Constance McMillen, attended the “replacement prom,” but was shocked to find that it was sparsely attended. Media later reported that McMillen was sent to a sham event, while her peers gathered at a different location to celebrate without her.
McMillen will join GLAAD this weekend at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles to present to Stephen F. Kolzak award to comedian Wanda Sykes. The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.
GLAAD is assisting Derrick Martin with several local and national media requests. Martin is scheduled to appear on CNN later this week. He also received a call from the Ellen DeGeneres Show with an interest in his story.
GLAAD will keep you posted on the latest developments. Updates can be found at GLAADblog.