GOV. HOLCOMB DEEMS CHURCHES ESSENTIAL
Republican Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a law last week protecting the state’s churches by designating them as essential and forbidding state authorities from treating them differently than secular establishments during public health emergencies.
Sponsored by Republican state Sens. Eric Koch, Liz Brown, and Aaron Freeman, the Senate Enrolled Act 263 (SB 263) says in part that “religious organizations provide essential services that are necessary for the health and welfare of the public during a disaster emergency.” . . .
SB 263 goes on to clarify that it “does not prohibit the state or a political subdivision from requiring a religious organization to comply with a generally applicable health, safety, or occupancy requirement that is neutral towards religious organizations and equally applicable to any organization or business that provides essential services.”
“However, the state or political subdivision may not enforce any health, safety, or occupancy requirement that imposes a substantial burden on a religious service unless the state or political subdivision demonstrates that applying the burden to the religious service in this particular instance is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest,” it added.
(Excerpt from The Daily Wire. Article by Jon Brown. Photo Credit: Getty Images.)
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