(NECN/WLEX: Courtney Fischer) - A Lexington, Kentucky high school student claims she was barred from prom because she planned to bring a date of the same sex.
Hope Decker, 18, says administrators at Lexington Catholic High School sat her down Friday and told her she could not attend with her girlfriend, Tiffany Wright, who is also a student at the school.
"What I experienced in the Dean's Office was blatant homophobia," said Decker, a senior at the school. "We were told that this school has Catholic principles and so they couldn't let it happen."
"At first I was really upset," said Tiffany Wright, Decker's date for the dance. "I mean, we both cried and then I was like, this is ridiculous. There's gotta be something we could do about this."
Decker, Wright and dozens of their friends still dressed up for the occasion and even attempted to get into the school for prom.
When turned away, they decided to have their own outdoor version outside of the school.
"I just think it's ridiculous that a school that claims to foster love and equality is doing something like this to its own students," said Wright.
The group of students said they have started a petition they plan to send to the school's president and principal, along with the bishop, in the hopes their situation might lead to change for future couples.
They said they have already received more than 100 signatures from other students opposed to what happened.
The school's assistant principal said he could not comment on the situation, but added that Lexington Catholic adheres to the guidelines set forth by the Catholic Church.