An elderly woman, punished for sharing her faith with others at a Rhode Island public park, will be allowed to continue witnessing after attorneys met and discussed the First Amendment and religious rights.
Gail Blair had been banned from a park by the City of Westerly, and threatened with arrest, until attorneys with First Liberty Institute announced Oct. 28 they had met with attorneys representing the city.
First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys tells OneNewsNow the city government, represented by local attorneys, understood that taking action against Blair “put a kink” in what she views as her private ministry.
“Which is to sit in a park and talk to people about her love of Jesus,” he says.
First Liberty reported in June that Blair, 63, who is blind, was given a “Trespass Warning” by police after park officials called the cops on her.
First Liberty used the state’s Commission for Human Rights to file a discrimination complaint.
Dys says things have gotten so out of hand that some people are concerned religion is creeping up in public society, as if expressing your faith in a public park is worse than the coronavirus.
"You've got to not just mask it or somehow inoculate against it,” he warns, “but you have to lock it down away from polite society that nobody might come down with it.”
That restriction is not what is allowed by the First Amendment, he says, and is now what our country has fought for and recognized for two centuries.