A Michigan woman is heartbroken after missing her son’s wedding.
Mary Douglas claims that she was unable to attend the milestone event because a church in Quincy would not let her attend with her service dog, Stella, who is with her all the time because of Douglas’ PTSD, reported WWMT News.
Pastor Robert Montgomery has stated that Douglas was given “several options” before the wedding which would have allowed her to attend her son’s big day, but she refused them all.
Douglas has countered that the law requires any venue that is open to the public to allow service dogs.
“Under the ADA regulations if the church opens their buildings to a public event it’s now public and they have to follow the ADA’s,”
Douglas has since filed a civil suit – hoping that other people with service dogs will not suffer the same discrimination which she feels she endured.
Pastor Montgomery, who noted that his church refuses all animals because of potential allergy concerns or possible “fear of dogs,” feels that the situation is just a “misunderstanding.” He told WWMT News:
It’s kind of more of a family matter than it is a church matter. We’re very people oriented, we love people. This is a house of God and we have certain policies in place. The day should have been about her son and his wife. And it’s unfortunate that it turned out this way.”
Time will tell if the church faces repercussions for their decision to deny Stella entry to the wedding.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has a flyer which can be printed out which states clearly, “if you are open to the public, you must be accessible to service animals.”