Same-sex couple barred from Lexington Catholic prom

jhewlett@herald-leader.com,By MeMay 13, 2012 

Students supporting the same-sex couple congregated outside the school for their own prom Saturday night.

Two female students say they were not allowed to attend Lexington Catholic High School's prom as a couple Saturday night, upsetting a number of students at the school.

Hope Decker, 18, a senior, and sophomore Tiffany Wright, 16, had already gotten their dresses for the event, but Friday afternoon they were told by school administrators they could not attend as a couple because of the church's stance on same-sex relationships, Wright said.

In an email Sunday, Lexington Catholic president Steve Angelucci said, "As a Catholic high school, we uphold every teaching of the Catholic Church. The policies and procedures of our school reflect those teachings."

When the couple tried to enter the school's gymnasium, where the prom was held, they were turned away, so Wright said they held their own prom in the school's parking lot.

"I would understand and respect the school's decision if they truly upheld church teachings," Wright said Sunday night. "They didn't forbid the entrance of all the couples who've had premarital sex and all the kids who planned to get drunk after the prom."

Wright said Decker was "overwhelmed with all of the attention" and did not want to comment for this story. Decker later called and asked the story not be printed because she didn't want to hurt the reputation of the high school.

Wright said the couple's parking-lot prom was great.

"We had a wonderful night, and we were surrounded by true friends," Wright said. "I'll remember it for the rest of my life."

Among the other students outside with them were Lexington Catholic senior Suzie Napier, who said she wrote a letter to school administrators expressing displeasure at their decision. Napier said 107 fellow students signed it.

"I think that it is unfair that Hope and Tiffany were not allowed to attend prom together," Napier said. "I can understand why, but I don't agree with it."

"Universal love and acceptance," she said, is a greater Catholic tradition than its stance on same-sex relationships.

Napier said the students played music from their parked cars at the outside prom and set up a table for refreshments.

"I definitely think this prom will be much more memorable than any prom the school hosted," Napier said.

Megan Carter-Stone, a senior, also attended the outside prom.

"It was a wonderful time, and I think we got our point across," Carter-Stone said. "At least I hope we did."

Jennifer Hewlett: (859) 231-3308.

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