Gay teen fights school’s ban on same-sex dates

Lance Sanderson is fighting a new discriminatory policy at his Christian high school.

Lance Sanderson is fighting a new discriminatory policy at his Christian high school.

Lance Sanderson, a senior at Christian Brothers High School (CBHS) in Memphis, is no stranger to homophobia. He’s experienced classmates shouting homophobic slurs—and now, he’s even facing opposition from school officials.

Despite being told last spring that he would be allowed to bring a same-sex date to prom, administrators are now saying he can’t bring a male student to the upcoming homecoming dance.

“It’s been a tough four years for me at Christian Brothers High School and I’ve experienced a lot of homophobia,” he wrote on “But now it’s not classmates causing the issue — it’s administrators.”

The staff member who had supported Lance’s desire to bring a male date to prom left CBHS in the summer. When Lance approached another school administrator about bringing a male date to homecoming, he didn’t receive as much support.

“I mentioned it, expecting him to say the same thing, and he had a very different response,” Lance told the Memphis Flyer. “He mentioned a [gay] couple in Texas … and said that the guy’s boyfriend murdered him. It was a little rough.”

The school then created a new policy about same-sex dates, which states, “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.”

It just so happens, Lance’s date is from another school.

In a letter to students and parents, administrators said CBHS is “a kinder and gentler school,” claiming that “[students] are not homophobic and we are proud of their brotherhood.”

Lance doesn’t agree—he finds the new policy discriminatory and set up a a petition to challenge it.

As of Friday, Sept. 25, he’s garnered more than 14,000 supporters.

“I just want to bring a date of my choice to homecoming like the rest of my friends and classmates,” Lance said in his petition. “I’m not asking for special treatment. I’m just asking for respect.”

Lance petition needs less than 1,000 signatures to reach his goal of 15,000 supporters. Click here to show your support.

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