Same-Sex Couple Fights California High School That Rejected Their Nomination for Prom King and Queen

Same-Sex Couple Fights to Be Prom King & Queen Was Rejected
Hayley Lack

04/28/2016 AT 04:40 PM EDT

A California high school has rejected two female students' plea to be eligible for prom king and queen, despite the fact that the couple was nominated by their peers.

"Just because I'm a girl doesn’t mean I couldn’t be a king," Hayley Lack, a senior at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro, told KRCR.

Lack and her girlfriend were nominated for prom king and queen together and garnered "overwhelming" support from their peers to change the voting process so that couples could appear on prom court ballots together rather than having separate male and female categories, reports the Redding Record Searchlight.

The school's administration blocked the couple's nomination and rejected their appeal for a change to voting. Principal Jim Bartow said the decision was made to promote "gender equality" rather heterosexuality. "It's got to be equal for both genders and that's what it is all about," he told KRCR.

Lack disagrees. "By saying I have to be a queen, my girlfriend also has to be a queen that is discrimination against us and we should be able to be a king and a queen together," the 16-year-old told the news station.

Lack and her girlfriend are circulating a petition to have Foothill change its voting system.

"We'd rather just fight the battle for it and win so that future kids that are LGBT won't have to deal with it," she said. "A queen and a queen can still rule perfectly fine."

Junior Alex Seagrave, 16, told the Record Searchlight that this wasn't the first time the school prevented the nomination of a same sex couple. Last year, Seagrave and her girlfriend at the time were both nominated for homecoming court.

Seagrave explained that she was paired with a boy who received fewer votes than her girlfriend at the time simply because he was male.

"It was stupid, because we were a couple," she said. "I can see why they would want [gender equality], but it's what we want; it's a student activity."

Seagrave's current girlfriend, 16-year-old Sabrina Vallejo, was also nominated for homecoming court and said that the whole ordeal made her feel rejected based on her sexual orientation.

"Every girl wants to have that moment where they feel like a princess," she told the newspaper. "And it's like I can't really express that or have that moment like any other girl would because I found happiness with someone who isn't a boy."
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