Nevada Church Asks For Exemption To Social Distancing Rules Until They Can Be Overturned
A church in Nevada is continuing to fight for the right to reject the social distancing rules implemented in the state. Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley says that they’ll continue to appeal their case, because they believe limits on worship services are restricted than those on secular activities.
Earlier this month, Calvary Chapel asked its congregation to pray for the court to see the importance of church, and the rightness of their legal arguments, and named Ryan Tucker of the Alliance Defending Freedom as their lead counsel. The ADF released a statement saying that Nevada has allowed casinos and other businesses to open and be occupied at 50% capacity, but restricts religious gatherings to 50 people. With a capacity of 200 people, being allowed to operate to 50% capacity would double the number of people allowed to attend Calvary’s services at once. According to the Mohave Daily News, the church is asking to allow in 90 people.
At the last hearing, Judge Richard Boulware II denied the church’s claim, saying that they didn’t meet the burden of proving discrimination, since the gathering limits are not being enforced, and since there are more restrictive measures on the secular activities the church’s attorney cites — for example, those gambling in casinos are ordered to wear masks. Though the judge did not side with the church in that case, they continue to appeal.
The ADF has been representing churches, and urging churches to fight against mandates seen as unfair or excessive, since the pandemic response began. In the video above, you can see Ryan Tucker encouraging churches to consider whether rules might be unconstitutional.
As states have begun the process of reopening, cases of COVID-19, and deaths attributable to the same, have increased. The CDC’s current numbers hold over 2.3 million cases, and 121k deaths in the U.S. from the virus.