Both wore tuxedos." Lynch addressed the senior class earlier in the day and promised to respond to any harassment of the couple with "very stern measures." The school provided six rather than the customary two police officers for security.
Some students taunted the couple when they danced together.
Fricke, represented by John Ward of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, seeking a preliminary injunction that would allow him to attend the dance. With the respect to equal protection arguments, the court noted that "the school [had] afforded disparate treatment to a certain class of students" by setting up different policies for those who wished to bring same-sex partners to the dance and those who wanted to bring different-sex partners.
The Court, accepting Fricke's freedom of speech claim, decided that "even a legitimate interest in school discipline does not outweigh a student's right to peacefully express his views in an appropriate time, place, and manner." The Court wrote that threats of physical violence against Fricke and his date gave homophobic students an unconstitutional "heckler's veto" that would allow "them to decide through prohibited and violent methods what speech will be heard." The judge ruled that the precedent of United States v. Such a policy, the Court said, could be "profitably analyzed under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." On May 31, 1980, the press reports said that "Amid heavy security, homosexual student Aaron Fricke showed up at the senior prom with a male companion.
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