Judge Upholds Restraining Order Banning Autistic Boy from Church

Friday, Judge Sally Ireland Roberston of the 7th District Court upheld the restraining order she issued May 9 against the parents of an autistic boy barred from taking their son to church.

The parents of Adam Race are now concerned that the ruling has set a discriminatory precedent for people with disabilities.

"This is a green light to exclude the disabled from any public place where their existence makes people feel uncomfortable," said Carol Race in a statement released to the media Tuesday. The family has asked the ACLU to investigate the ruling, saying its broad application could interferes with the public's constitutional rights. In a statement released to the press Tuesday they wrote:

According to MN Statute 609.748, subd1,(a)3, harassment can be defined as "a pattern of attending public events after being notified that the actor’s presence is harassing to another."

Not only could this be applied to persons with disabilities, but also it could preclude others from exercising their rights to free speech and assembly in public demonstration of controversial issues.

The judge also decided Adam’s behavior constituted “unreasonable acts in the context of a church service”. This statement infers government interference in deciding what is or is not appropriate during a church service.

In May the church requested a restraining order on Adam Race, saying he had become disruptive and dangerous to parishioners as he grows older and bigger. The Autistic boy is over six feet tall and weighs more than 225 pounds, the Associated Press reports.

The complaint said Adam makes noises, urinates because of incontinence, and needs to be restrained by having his hands or feet bound with fleece ties.

Carol Race has argued that the claims against her son are exaggerated. Of all places, a church shouldn't be turning him away.

Unfortunately her son's situation is not an isolated incident, she notes in the statement. Take Debra Klein of Denver, Colorado, a woman with epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures. Despite letters from a doctor, leaders at St. Frances Cabrini have insisted Klein is a danger to the community and limited the number of mass gatherings and parish functions she can attend, Carol Race reports.

For more information about these two cases go to the Races' website: Adam's Pew.

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