Christian Brothers High School denies homecoming date for gay student

Lance Sanderson

Lance Sanderson

MEMPHIS, TN – A student at Christian Brothers High School said the school will not let him bring his date to the school’s homecoming dance.

Lance Sanderson is a senior at CBHS, and he wants to bring a male date to homecoming.

He believes administrators at the private all-boys Catholic school are discriminating against him with a policy laid out in a September 24 news bulletin on the school’s website.

“CBHS students may attend the dance by themselves, with other CBHS students, or with a girl from another school. For logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend.”

School administrators have not commented publicly on this policy or Sanderson’s specific complaint. However, a letter was issued to the CBHS community explaining the development of a more pro-active outreach.

According to the policy, Sanderson would be allowed to bring a male date from CBHS but not from another school.

“I can bring like, a friend from CBHS or like, a girl friend from another school but I can’t bring like a boyfriend from another school or a date from another school,” Sanderson explained. “The other students have that option.  They use it.”

Sanderson said he has been out as homosexual since his freshman year. He said the previous school administration agreed to let him bring his date to homecoming, but now the school has changed its tune.

“I feel like they’re discriminating against me because I want to bring a guy and they don’t support that right now,” said Sanderson.

He said he’s asking to be treated like all of the other students at his high school.

Sanderson created a Change.org petition with the hopes of getting the school to change its mind before homecoming. He’s gained more than 6,000 supporters.

However, experts at Gold Law Firm said there does not appear to be any discrimination in the CBHS policy, because it’s been the school’s policy not to allow men from other schools at their dances.

Additionally, the administrator who gave verbal permission to Sanderson last year didn’t legally have the authority to do that.

Sanderson said he’s now pushing for more progressive policies.

“I’d like the policy to change,” he said. “If not now, maybe sometime before prom.”

CBHS’s homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, September 26.

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