Avowed homosexual Aaron Fricke says he is fighting for "equal rights and human rights" in his federal court battle to bring a male escort to the Cumberland High School senior prom.

The 18-year-old senior has asked Chief U.S. District Court Judge Raymond J. Pettine to overturn a school ban on his bringing a male date to the May 30 dance.

"I feel I have the right to attend. I feel I want to go to the prom for the same reason any other student would want to go," Fricke said in the first day of hearings on his suit.

But a lawyer for the Cumberland School Committee said that security problems might develop if Fricke is allowed to attend with a male escort.

In another rights case involving homosexuals, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence T. Evans ruled in Milwaukee that the Army may not discharge a soldier solely because he or she is homosexual.

Evans said an Army regulation requiring the discharge of soldiers who exhibit "homosexual tendencies, desire or interest," even if they do not take part in homosexual behavior, was unconstitutional.

The rule violated the First, Fifth and Ninth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Evans said.

In Washington, an Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Charles Krohn, said officials were aware of the decision. "We will consider the implications, if any, when we have a chance to review the decision," he said.