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Two Utah Republicans sue the state GOP, saying it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to accommodate them at a caucus and a convention
|Last Edited||Kyle May 01, 2018 01:13pm|
|News Date||Tuesday, May 1, 2018 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||In 2016, Aaron Heineman wanted to be a state delegate for the Utah Republican Party so he could weigh in on that year’s presidential election. |
He arrived at his local caucus with a speech, carefully tailored to fit into two minutes while being relayed through an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. But, he said, his party didn’t provide the interpreter it promised.
Heineman struggled to get through half his speech, delivered through an attendee who had “rudimentary” ASL skills, before being cut off halfway through. The caucus did not choose Heineman to be a delegate.
Heineman had registered for the event more than a month earlier and had worked to prepare. He was passionate about a presidential candidate and wanted to be a part of the process, but due to a lack of accommodation, the experience left him feeling marginalized.
As a result, Heineman is suing the party, a former Utah GOP chairman and the lieutenant governor.
Joining him as a plaintiff is Eliza McIntosh Stauffer, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair. She says the state party didn’t accommodate her during the GOP state convention in 2016.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court for Utah, seeks changes to the party’s policies to be in line with the landmark 1990 anti-discrimination Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It also requests an amount of money to be determined at trial. It lists as defendants Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and his office, former Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans, former Utah County Republican Party Chairman Craig Frank, and the state and county parties.
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