JACKSON, Miss. – A Mississippi school district violated a lesbian student’s constitutional rights by banning her from bringing her girlfriend to the prom, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, but he stopped short of forcing the district to hold the event.

U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson denied an American Civil Liberties Union request for a preliminary injunction that would have forced the Itawamba County school district to sponsor the April 2 prom and allow Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

Davidson did say he will hold a trial on the issue later, but any ruling would likely come too late to force the district to hold the prom when it was originally scheduled.

School officials said in court that they decided to call off the prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School because McMillen’s challenge to the rules had caused disruptions. The 715-student high school is located in Fulton, a town of about 4,000 in rural northern Mississippi.

McMillen lives with her grandmother and has a 3.8 grade point average. Her case has become a cause celebre since the district canceled the prom March 10.

She has appeared on the “The Early Show,” “The Wanda Sykes Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to talk about how she is fighting for tolerance.