US says California order discriminates against churches

California Church Virus Closures
Posted at 8:56 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:56:55-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of the federal Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has told Gov. Gavin Newsom that his plan to reopen California discriminates against churches.

In a letter to the governor Tuesday, the official said that despite the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, Newsom should allow some in-person worship. Restaurants and other secular businesses are being allowed to reopen under social distancing guidelines but not churches, which are limited to online and similar services.

Newsom says churches and other religious institutions could start welcoming back the faithful for limited in-person services in the coming weeks.