Gay teens win right to dance at high graduations in Sweden
December 1, 2003
STOCKHOLM — Gay seniors at two Swedish high schools will be allowed to dance
together at their graduation ball next summer, a local newspaper
Friday morning the prom organizers decided not to let
homosexuals shake loose on the dance floor, claiming it would be an
afront to an age-old tradition, the online edition of Swedish paper
Oestgoeta Correspondentens said.
But a storm of criticism forced organizers to backtrack by the
The big event, organized by the Berzelius high school and the
the Folkuniversitetets international high school in Linkoeping,
will take place on June 5.
One of the organizers' harshest critics Friday morning was Hans
Ytterberg, the ombudsman against discrimination linked to sexual
He told the paper that the organizers' original decision
constituted illegal discrimination, which in Sweden is punishable
by fines or up to a year in prison.
Explaining their about-face, the organizers claimed that they
had misunderstood recommendations from the dance teachers preparing
the students for the ball.
"It appears that several people misunderstood the dance
teachers' recommendations," Malin Wiggur, who is in charge of
Folkuniversitetets' part of the ball, told Oestgoeta
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