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Same-sex school balls a tough topic

Published: 7:42AM Sunday August 31, 2008 Source: Newstalk ZB

The Secondary Principals Association is steering clear of the controversy around same-sex couples at school balls after gay rights advocates criticised a policy requiring couples of the same gender to sign contracts confirming they are homosexual.

The group Rainbow Youth is now organising an Alternative Ball for gay students whose schools will not let them take their dates or subject them to harsh scrutiny.

It says schools which ban same-sex couples are discriminating and should look again at their policies.

Secondary Principals Association president Peter Gall says it needs to be left to individual schools to decide what is best for their students.

Gall says at his school, he is more worried about dealing with dates coming along who are not students, and ensuring they are suitable.

While he says same sex couples is not an issue, Gall says balls are not compulsory events, and organisers need to be able to make their own rules about them.

The Dominion Post reported at the weekend that at least four Auckland colleges allowed same-sex couples only on the proviso that contracts confirming their sexual orientation were signed.

The Rainbow Youth ball rolls out its carpet next Saturday night.