“In order to restore the right balance between public safety and individual freedoms, the clergy we represent have declared their intention to start holding church services in person starting Sunday, May 31, 2020,” says the letter. “All services will be held in accordance with the CDC and state guidelines for social distancing as required by” essential businesses “.”
He asked at the center of the reopening of the debate in the United States
Houses of worship were ultimately not included as part of the guidelines.
On Wednesday, President Kellyanne Conway’s senior adviser said the administration was still working with the CDC on guidelines for those institutions.
President Donald Trump, speaking more generally on Thursday, said that one of the things he wants to do to “normalize” life in the United States is “to open churches”.
“Churches are not treated with respect by many democratic governors,” said Trump. “I want to open our churches, and soon we will take a very strong position.”
It also comes a day after the Justice Department sent Newsom a letter warning him that the state’s plan to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic discriminated against churches.
In a letter to Newsom, the head of the Department of Civil Rights of the Department of Justice wrote that the reopening plan, which allows for a return to restaurants and shopping malls before religious services, contained “a pronounced unequal treatment of faith communities “which could clash with the first amendment.
“The Justice Department does not try to impose how states like California determine what degree of activity and personal interaction should be allowed to protect the safety of their citizens,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “However, we are accused of supporting the Constitution and federal legal protections for civil rights.”
“Whatever the level of restrictions you adopt, these civil rights protections require equal treatment of people and activities of a secular and religious nature,” he added.
According to the Johns Hopkins University case count in the United States, there are at least 1,551,853 coronavirus cases in the United States and at least 93,439 people have died in the United States from coronavirus.
California currently has at least 85,997 coronavirus cases and 3,497 deaths.
CNN’s David Shortell, Deborah Bloom, Nick Valencia, Jason Hoffman, Caroline Kelly and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.
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