"Man with binoculars banned from Green Show," said the headline.
He is an Ashland resident. He said he became legally blind in 1992 and began using binoculars to see the Green Show better. But people complained that he was focusing too long on young woman and he was banned, a letter of trespass signed against him by the show's director. Now he's not allowed to attend the show. The police escorted him out. They had no further comment. Their only requirement was to enforce the law, that a piece of paper said he's not allowed onto the Oregon Shakespeare's Festival private property.
"They must have had something on him," my wife said.
He's been doing this for twenty years, he claims. Now they have evidence against him? What was the evidence? Does he have the right to face his accuser and hear the evidence? Will no one stand up for him?
No one can. The Green Show director has decided.
Public opinion swells in many directions. If he is blind and using the binoculars to help see, they may be discriminating against him and violating ADA. But if he's being lewd, then he deserves to be banned. Is staring at someone through binoculars being lewd? He could sue the company for slander and ruining his reputation. What is the legal definition for slander? He brought the issue out, taking it to the local newspaper. Were there previous complaints against him? The Green Show director wouldn't comment. She can't, she says. Is that a factor, one wonders, that she's a woman? Was he staring at men or women? Children or adults? What's being protected? Some cynically and strangely claim that tourism's dollars are being protected.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com