Religion is Essential Act Press Conference
- We are excited California State Senator Brian Jones of Santee has authored the Religion is Essential Act, a bill sponsored by the California Family Council and several other allied organizations to protect the religious liberty of churches and other religious organizations during a state of emergency.
As you know this past year Governor Newcom relegated churches to “second class” status by preventing them from using their facilities during the pandemic, while exempting secular businesses and services from these requirements.
Here is what SB 397 does:
- Require that the Governor and local governments treat religious services as an essential service (just like retail) during any declared state of emergency; and
- Prohibit the state and local governments from discriminating against a religious organization during an emergency; and
- Require the state and local governments to permit religious services to continue operating during an emergency; and
- Prohibit the state and local governments from enforcing a health, safety or occupancy requirement that imposes a substantial burden on a religious service during an emergency; and
- Allow a religious organization that has been subject to state or local government overreach to file a claim for relief in an administrative or judicial proceeding.
- Read the SB 397 bill text…
- Senator Brian Jones’ SB 397 Press Release
- CFC article: CA Senator Introduces Bill to Stop “Second Class Citizen” Status for Churches During Pandemic
- Expert medical-legal testimony on the safety of indoor church by Timothy P. Flanigan, M.D.
- Suggested SB 397 talking points
- SCOTUS Ruling: U.S. Supreme Court rules against Newsom on indoor church services in California COVID-19 case
- KUSI News: California Senator introduces Senate Bill 397, requiring governor to treat religious services as essential in emergencies
- Religion News Service: California legislator wants religious services deemed essential during state of emergency
- Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert: Church as an essential service