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By John Kebles
The Washington Stand

On Sunday March 26, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) signed HB 2171 into law. This new statute ensures that houses of worship are not subject to unequal restrictions compared to those placed on other businesses, organizations, and activities in the commonwealth of Virginia.

In sharp contrast to the limit of 10 people imposed on “non-essential” gatherings such as churches by then-Governor Ralph Northam during the COVID-19 pandemic, the new statute aims to ensure that all businesses, religious and nonreligious alike, will be subject to the same restrictions should a future emergency arise.

Sen. Mark Peake (R) of Lynchburg applauded the legislation.

“During COVID, you could go to a state store and buy liquor, but you could not go to church. This bill means the governor’s not gonna open liquor stores and close churches.” Peake said.

Citing the First Amendment, the original bill from Virginia’s Republican led House of Delegates would have exempted places of worship entirely from bowing to emergency power rules and regulations.



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