Butler County lawmaker, husband asked to leave Gettysburg museum for refusing to wear masks

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Ohio Rep. Candice Keller says she and her husband were asked to leave the Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning because they refused to wear masks.

Keller and her husband, Kent, visited Gettysburg for the July 4 holiday weekend and said in a Facebook video “there is an atmosphere here of — I don’t know what to call it.”

"This (mandated mask-wearing) is not the law in Pennsylvania, nor yet in Ohio where I am from, and it is an unconstitutional idea that our leaders have come up with," she said after reading President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined guidelines for the public amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. That includes social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and wearing of a mask in public or in confined spaces.

Wearing a mask does not prevent a person from contracting COVID-19, but health professionals say since people could be asymptomatic — where they have the virus but show no symptoms — wearing masks can help prevent and slow the spread.

Local health districts and health professionals advocate the CDC guidelines, and some businesses and organizations have mandated wearing a mask.

Dayton City Council recently approved an ordinance that will mandate anyone in the city in a public outdoor or indoor space must wear a mask beginning Friday.

Keller said she and her husband “chose not to bicker or cause a problem” at the Gettysburg museum. They received a refund and left before going to the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

The Journal-News reached out to officials at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center for comment. The center posted on its website, "For the health and safety of all, individuals who enter the building should wear a face covering. Face coverings are not required for children under the age of 2 or for those with medical issues."

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Keller said she believes “we are losing our rights in this country” and calls for people to “stand up to those who would diminish your freedoms and your liberty.”

“I encourage you to speak out, to push against the madness,” she said. “We will not wear face masks when we are not sick .... Please stand up for you freedoms because I’m surrounded by people who laid everything down so we can be free.”

Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown
Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided