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Pinal County library denies man’s request to host story time with Christian-themed guide

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PINAL COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A authorized battle is brewing over the primary modification at a Pinal County Library, which is the difficulty of separation of church and state at hand. An east Valley man mentioned he was denied public entry to host a kids’s story time as a result of he deliberate to learn a Christian-based guide.

The county instructed him it’s a problem of separation of church and state, though that doesn’t look like addressed of their library pointers. The saga started earlier than Christmas when Ricardo Frias despatched an e mail to the San Tan Library asking to host a narrative time with a Christian-themed guide. However after the brand new 12 months and a number of other follow-up emails, he lastly bought a solution. “He was finally denied that chance and denied entry to the library,” mentioned Andrew Gould, senior counsel for First Liberty Institute. Gould is representing Frias.

When Frias requested why he was being denied, a county consultant despatched an e mail again that mentioned, “as a result of the constructing is county owned we’ve got to watch out concerning the separation of church and state and we aren’t allowed to supply the area for church or non secular actions that could possibly be thought of preaching.”

“That after all is unconstitutional and unlawful. You may’t simply exclude Christian teams. You may’t simply exclude sure messages and books in a public library as a result of they’re Christian otherwise you don’t agree with their viewpoint,” mentioned Gould.

Gould mentioned his consumer was despatched the overall pointers for the usage of assembly rooms, which Arizona’s Household bought a duplicate of. “The rules to be used of the library room are fairly primary. They didn’t have any exclusions that pertained to the perspective nor might they,” mentioned Gould.

Gould despatched a requirement letter to Pinal County Monday demanding they reverse their denial of Frias’ story time request. Arizona’s Household reached out to Pinal County to ask for his or her facet of this story, and a spokesperson despatched us this assertion:

Whereas the county has responded to Arizona’s Household, Gould mentioned he and his consumer hadn’t heard a peep. “I haven’t heard a single response from them,” mentioned Gould. “The underside line is Mr. Frias deserves proper as a citizen to have entry to that library to learn this guide.” Gould mentioned within the demand letter their institute had given Pinal County till Feb. 7 to grant Frias entry to the library for this. In any other case, they plan to sue for a violation of the structure.

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