Even worse than homophobia is homophobia under the guise of something else. Whether it’s banning gay marriage for “religious freedom” or, in this case, barring a male teen from choosing a boy as his homecoming date for “logistical” reasons, let’s just call discrimination what it is, in all of its insidiousness.

At Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee – a private school for boys – student Lance Sanderson has been told that he may not bring a male to homecoming. The reason? His date attends a different school. Administrators are saying that, even though it’s OK to bring girls from different schools to the dance, boys from other schools are not allowed due to rivalry issues.

“The way they worded it is ‘for logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend,'” said Sanderson in an interview with Memphis Flyer. “I asked about it in a meeting [Tuesday] morning, and they said they didn’t want guys from our school getting into disagreements with guys from other schools.”

But last year, an administrator who no longer works there told Sanderson he could bring a male date from another school. Unfortunately, fellow administrators didn’t share his point of view.

“I was sitting down talking to one of the current administrators over the summer, and at the end of our conversation, I mentioned it, expecting him to say the same thing. And he had a very different response,” Sanderson said. “He mentioned a [gay] couple in Texas and said I was a lot like this one person and said that the guy’s boyfriend murdered him. It was a little rough.”

I don’t know how or why murder entered this conversation, but one thing is clear: if his classmates are allowed to bring their female dates regardless of which school they attend, Sanderson should be able to bring his male date, too. You can help make that happen. Sanderson started a petition, which you can sign to tell his school they need to drop the homophobia act and let him bring his date to the homecoming dance.