ABC News reports:
Three Inland Empire churches that want to keep their doors open during the coronavirus outbreak sued Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials on Monday, arguing that physical distancing orders violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion and assembly.
The suit, filed in the federal court for the Central District of California, also names state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and officials of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. One plaintiff, James Moffatt, senior pastor at Church Unlimited in Indio, was fined $1,000 for violating Riverside County’s order by holding a Palm Sunday service, according to the lawsuit.
Moffatt “believes that Scripture commands him as a pastor to lay hands on people and pray for them, this includes the sick,” the suit said. “Moffatt also believes that he is required by Scripture to baptize individuals, something that cannot be done at an online service.”
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