church services COVID-19

SAN DIEGO COURT RULES CHURCH CANNOT HOLD IN-PERSON EASTER SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2020 (San Diego) – A local church hoping to hold in-person Easter services this Sunday has been denied an exemption to San Diego County’s COVID-19 stay-home order. 

Abiding Place Ministries had sought a restraining order to prevent the county from enforcing its public heath directive, arguing that the order violated members’ constitutional right to religious freedom.

But U.S. District Judge Cynthia A. Bashant ruled that the county has the authority to “reasonably restrict” such rights during a public health emergency. She quoted the U.S. Supreme Court in the Prince v. Massachusetts case, which states, “The right to practice religion freely does not include the right to expose the community to communicable disease…”


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