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Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:07 AM

MI-03: Peter Meijer discriminated against drag performers with Down Syndrome

The ACLU of Michigan has filed a civil rights complaint against congressional candidate Peter Meijer for allegedly discriminating against drag performers with Down Syndrome.

Meijer would not allow the UK-based troupe Drag Syndrome to use his Tanglefoot Building in Grand Rapids during the ArtPrize Project 1 exhibitions, questioning whether the performers could provide consent, the ACLU said in a complaint filed Thursday with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The group was scheduled to perform there Saturday and has since found another space.

The ACLU contends that Meijer is relying on harmful stereotypes about disabled people.

Meijer told the Free Press that he was worried about "the risk of perception of exploitation," a view he said is shared by disability advocates. He plans to challenge the complaint.


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