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“We now have 1,500 members of the clergy in California who have signed the Declaration of Essentiality.

“(Monday), the Governor of California issued new COVID-19 guidance for places of worship. While we appreciate the efforts made to allow places of worship to resume services, the guidance limiting occupancy to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less, is not acceptable because it still discriminates against places of worship.

“Restaurants, for example, have no stated occupancy limitation but simply require that guests at tables be separated by six feet. Additionally, large stores continue operating without being limited in their occupancy from their normal levels. While, many churches will have no problem complying with the 100 person limit, some of our clients have churches that seat 2,500 people and more. Limiting places of worship to 100 people is arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional. Our clients will continue to make plans to hold services on May 31, 2020, and many will not limit themselves to 100 persons.

“We encourage the Governor to reconsider this unnecessarily low limitation on occupancy. Meanwhile, we will continue to pursue our legal claims in court in order to prevent future authorities from stripping First Amendment liberties from places of worship.”

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Author: Press Release