by Cassandra Fairbanks
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has lodged a complaint against the Michigan Republican looking to unseat Rep. Justin Amash, because he declined to host an event for drag queens with Down syndrome.
Congressional hopeful Peter Meijer owns the venue where the group, who call themselves Drag Syndrome, were hoping to appear during an art exhibition. He declined to host them, as he was unsure that they were able to give their “full and informed consent.”
While this may seem like a valid concern to many, the ACLU has inserted itself into the mix by filing a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights arguing that Meijer was discriminating against the group because of their disability. They also claim that declining the group’s performance was discrimination based on sex due to the nature of their performances.
Speaking to the Gateway Pundit, Meijer said that he finds the situation disappointing. He explained that he had donated the use of space in his building to local nonprofits in order to support the local arts community and groups that did advocacy for people with disabilities.
Meijer said that he believes the Down syndrome drag show could have been “counterproductive to the goal of supporting inclusion and belonging of those with disabilities by feeding into and continuing the history of abuse and exploitation — or at least the perception of that.”
The candidate said that he was surprised by how many of the people he spoke to shared his concerns.
“At the end of the day, the voices that carried the most weight for me were those who have minor and adult children with Down syndrome and local disability activists,” Meijer said.
“If they would have said, ‘listen, we see a lot of value in this even though it may be controversial, and we think it furthers the goal of belonging and inclusion,’ I would have reevaluated my initial gut reaction, but they shared it,” Meijer said. “Those are the voices that matter to me, the individuals who are closest to this issue and understand the challenges these individuals with disabilities face.”
In an attempt to handle the issue quietly and privately, Meijer wrote a letter to the organization explaining his reason for not wanting to host the show.
“The involvement of individuals whose ability to act of their own volition is unclear raises serious ethical concerns that I cannot reconcile,” Meijer wrote in a letter to DisArt.
DisArt, instead of handling the situation professionally and quietly, leaked the letter to the media. Their quest for media attention and controversy appears to have worked, as Meijer said that “now, all I’ve been talking about for two weeks is Down syndrome drag shows.”
Me Here....I have to agree with Mr. Meijer. The ACLU is on the wrong side of this issue. Too many times they are!
How fully functional are these Downs Syndrome people? Are they allowed to drive? Are they allowed to own a weapon? Are they allowed to vote? Are they able to live alone? Are they able sign a legal contract?
All these are good questions. If the answer is no to most or all, are these people able to understand what they are really doing? Or are they in effect just children play acting for attention? They could well have no clue as to what they are really doing. If so the people are being exploited in a most cruel way.
The ACLU should have completely vetted DisArt and these people before taking this case.