Mayoral Candidate Ejected from Debate for Bringing Statue of Our Lady

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

One of four candidates vying for job of mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, was removed from a debate after refusing to take down a large statue of Our Lady that he had placed on the candidates’ table.

The Providence Journal is reporting that Democratic mayoral candidate Christopher F. Young was removed from the auditorium of the Providence Career & Technical Academy on July 21 after refusing to remove the statue.

“The statue stands for my faith,” Young said, arguing that it was a matter of free speech. “I believe I have a right to be here with my faith.”

Officials did not agree. Doris De Los Santos, president of the Rhode Island Latino Civic Fund, which sponsored the forum, told the Journal that candidates were specifically told not to bring props or signs to the debate stage.

Debate organizers and nearly a dozen police officers confronted Young and demanded that he remove the statue. When he refused, he was escorted out of the building.

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