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Elderly Blind Woman Reaches Agreement with Authorities Allowing Her to Enter Park, Share Faith with Others

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October 29, 2020

News Release
For Immediate Release: 10.29.20
Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

Elderly Blind Woman Reaches Agreement with Authorities Allowing Her to Enter Park, Share Faith with Others
First Liberty Institute client had been prohibited from entering library, park across the street from her home

Providence, RI—Attorneys with First Liberty Institute today announced that in cooperation with William Wray Jr., an attorney at Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C., they have reached an agreement with the Westerly, Rhode Island Memorial and Library Association that will allow their client, Gail Blair, to enter the Association’s public park and converse with others about her faith.  Blair had been banned from the park and threatened with arrest for having conversations with others about Jesus during which she would offer them a small copy of the Gospel of John.

“We commend the Rhode Island’s Memorial and Library Association for resolving the case and recognizing our client’s religious liberty,” said Jeremy Dys, Special Counsel for Litigation and Communications at First Liberty.  “Our client is thrilled that she can once again enter the park across the street from her home and talk with other visitors.”

Gail is an elderly, blind resident of Westerly, RI. In June 2020, Gail, with assistance from First Liberty Institute and William Wray Jr., an attorney at Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C., filed a charge of discrimination with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights against the Memorial and Library Association. The charge alleged that by prohibiting Gail from entering the park and share her faith with others, the Association violated Rhode Island’s laws for places of public accommodation and were discriminatory on the basis of religion and disability.  The settlement allows Gail to enter the park and converse with others.

“I am thankful to First Liberty Institute and all my attorneys for fighting on my behalf and look forward to once again spending time in the park and sharing my faith in Jesus with those who are interested in having the conversation,” said Gail Blair.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

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