Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) plan for reopening the largest state in the country will discriminate heavily against churches, according to a warning by the Department of Justice, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Eric Dreiband, head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, sent a letter to Newsom on Tuesday warning Newsom that “even in times of emergency…the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers.”
The letter is referring to the fact that California’s coming “phase two” reopening plan does not allow churches to reopen, even though other businesses will be allowed to do so. “While it is true that social distancing requirements applied to places of worship,” Dreiband continued, “many places of worship are quite content to operate at 15-20% capacity in a way that allows for social distancing between family groups.”
Newsom has come under heavy fire for some of his latest actions during the coronavirus pandemic, from discrimination against churches and his order to lock down all state beaches and parks, to his recent initiative to give millions of dollars in state funding to illegal aliens. California remains one of the last states in the country that is still mostly on lockdown.