Allegations of Discrimination Against Former Amish

By: Lori Mitchell
By: Lori Mitchell

When Ruth Irene Garrett walked away from the Amish way of life nine years ago, she knew she'd become an outcast.

"Your family, your friends, anyone you've ever known can't have anything to do with you. They can't eat with you, they can't take anything from you. They can only try to talk to you about coming back."

But Garrett says her leaving had never caused her any problems, up until now, when she tried to buy groceries at an Amish store.

Garrett, who has written several books about leaving the faith, says store owner Erma Troyer recognized her from a book cover and refused to ring her up.

"She asked if I was Ruth Irene Garrett and I said yes. She said, well I can't serve you then, you used to be Amish."

When WBKO visited Troyer's store Tuesday, she refused to talk to us.
But in published reports, she's quoted as saying she doesn't believe she did anything wrong.

Her attorney says she feared she could've lost her religion or her store if she accepted the money.

But Garrett was so frustrated by the encounter two years ago that she filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

She says she wants an apology and permission to shop at the store.

The Human Rights Commission recently heard the case and could have a ruling as early as next year.


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