Paris Select Board passes resolution opposing mask mandate it says violates disabilities act
By Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News Staff
The Paris Select Board has passed a resolution opposing the statewide mandate for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.
That’s just the latest measure to target Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order mandating mask use in public settings to halt coronavirus transmission.
The Select Board members, all of whom were wearing masks, unanimously passed the resolution on Monday night, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.
It calls on the state to “cease and desist” violating the U.S. Constitution and the disabilities act, as well as urged the Select Board to support overturning the governor’s executive order, the newspaper reported.
Their argument that the mask mandate discriminates against Mainers with disabilities hinges on the absence of an exemption for them. But the state’s largest advocacy group for disabled Mainers took issue with the resolution, titled the “Americans with Disabilities Act Preservation Resolution.”
Disability Rights Maine’s executive director, Kim Moody, told the Sun Journal that her group supports the mask mandate and rejected “recent attempts to misappropriate our identities and misuse … civil rights legislation” for political ends.
A similar resolution has been passed in the Washington County town of Steuben. Last week, the Androscoggin County Commission rejected an anti-mask resolution after a two-week controversy over the measure that sparked a recall effort. In January, the Piscataquis County Commission adopted a resolution opposing the mandate that cited numerous false claims about masks and the coronavirus.