Marc Hall's court date has finally led to a prom date. A judge ruled Friday that the gay teen could take his 21-year-old boyfriend to the annual Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic High School rite of passage, despite objections from the Durham Catholic School Board.
The Board had forbidden the 17-year-old from attending the party on the grounds that the Catholic Church could not condone a homosexual lifestyle. But Hall argued discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And the court agreed.
Justice MacKinnon in siding with Marc Hall on the issue of whether he can bring his boyfriend to his high school prom, has signaled that when institutions accept public funds they accept to follow public regulation. One of the most important of these regulations is the requirement of non-discrimination (Ontario Human Rights Code & the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).
In his decision, Justice MacKinnon stated “Exclusion of a student from a significant occasion of school life, like the school Prom, constitutes a restriction in access to a fundamental social institution.”
I feel at ease now just knowing that we’re getting free of discrimination, the shy 17-year-old admits. His boyfriend is all smiles. When all this started, it kind of felt like we weren’t worth anything, recalls Jean-Paul Dumond. And this just proves them wrong. The couple's lawyer believes a precedent has been set. It shows that you don’t have to wait until after the discrimination takes place, points out Brad Elliott. That’s a huge advance for gays and lesbians. Hall won't say whether he'll continue his $100,000 lawsuit launched against the Board and his school's principal.
The Board vows to appeal.
Adapted from ‘Ready For ”Prom” Time Player’ from Pulse24.com