A legally blind woman in Georgia was searching for a new church when she thought she’d found one that would accommodate the fact that she had a service dog. What she got instead was shocking.
Cynthia Coleman, called the new church ahead of her Sunday visit to ask what their policy was. She was told it would be no problem for her to attend with her dog. But according to WITX News, the church elders sent her to the back of the pews, Patheos captured.
Nothing happened that caused a scene, the dog didn’t relieve itself on a statue of Jesus, but the church elders were afraid it “might” happen.
“Sitting down for about five or 10 minutes and about four or five deacons approached me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. Somewhat aggressive,” Coleman told WITX. “It was discrimination. It was discrimination. I had never in my life been discriminated against. Never. And to be discriminated against for the first time, as a disabled person in a church is disgusting.”
She said they didn’t give her a choice, she could either move to the back or leave the church.
The local news reports didn’t include the name of the church and there is technically nothing illegal about forcing a disabled person to sit in a specific spot. Churches are also exempt from anti-discrimination laws. So, it would be entirely legal if they banned her or anyone else from the church for being blind and having a service dog. This is how churches were able to ban LGBT people in the wake of the same-sex marriage debate.
You can watch a full report on Coleman below via WITX: