MASHPEE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The American Civil Liberties Union accuses a member of the Town of Mashpee Select Board of violating a resident’s freedom of speech and religious rights after she failed to stand for the oath of allegiance during a a meeting in April.
John Cotton, a board member and military veteran, said he finds it offensive that a Mashpee resident does not show up for the oath of allegiance at meetings, but did not name that person specifically.
“When someone doesn’t uphold the oath of allegiance, I personally find it incredibly offensive,” Cotton said at an April 11 select committee meeting, “more importantly, we have members of our military in uniform in this room, and that is an incredible sign of disrespect.”
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Wendy Williams, who did not show up, said her religious beliefs prevented her from standing for a pledge of allegiance to inanimate flags.
Williams went to the ACLU, which sent a letter to the Select Board on May 10, saying Cotton had, in an official capacity, publicly disparaged a Mashpee resident for exercising her constitutional rights.