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Tags: california | church | lawsuit | gavin newsom | pandemic | restrictions

California Church Sues Newsom Over At-Home Bible Study Group Ban

governor gavin newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

By    |   Monday, 20 July 2020 06:22 PM

A California church is challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on indoor church services that includes in-home Bible study groups, The Washington Times reports.

Harvest Rock Church and its members argue Newsom's indoor church service ban is unconstitutional, according to a lawsuit.

The churchgoers are asking the court to issue an injunction, which would allow them to meet in person without facing consequences from the state.

"While the Governor has unilaterally and significantly restricted the number of individuals permitted to 'gather' in Plaintiffs' churches, he has imposed no similar restrictions on the untold thousands of protesters who have gathered all throughout California cities with no threat of criminal sanction, and no social distancing or restrictions whatsoever," the complaint filed Saturday states. "And, the Governor explicitly encouraged such large gatherings of protesters while condemning churches for [singing] hymns in their churches."

Earlier this month, Newsom said places of worship could resume indoor services with a limited capacity of 25% attendance. His order put a ban on singing to help stop the spread of respiratory droplets that could contain coronavirus.

Two weeks after he allowed indoor worship to resume, he announced some counties experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases should stop meeting inside.

Religious liberty legal group Liberty Counsel is representing Harvest Rock Church, in its legal complaint.

The suit argues against the order, which applies to at-home Bible studies too.

"Gov. Gavin Newsom cannot disregard the First Amendment and ban all in-person worship in private homes and churches; nor can the state micromanage the form of worship by banning singing or chanting," founder of Liberty Counsel Mat Staver said in a statement.

"The governor is not the High Priest over all religions. There is not two First Amendments – one for protests and one for houses of worship. Gov. Newsom encourages thousands of protesters to gather in the streets but bans in-person worship and home Bible studies and fellowship. This discriminatory treatment is unconstitutional."

Gov. Newsom has been ordered to file a reply to the request for a preliminary injunction by Aug. 3, according to Liberty Counsel.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
A California church is challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on indoor church services that includes in-home Bible study groups, The Washington Times reports.
california, church, lawsuit, gavin newsom, pandemic, restrictions
346
2020-22-20
Monday, 20 July 2020 06:22 PM
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