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Pandemic-related state law protects Palmetto State churches

Pandemic-related state law protects Palmetto State churches


Pandemic-related state law protects Palmetto State churches

South Carolina’s governor has signed a pandemic-related bill that protects church congregations from being forced to close their doors.

Gov. Henry McMaster has signed into law HB 3015, which states that houses of worship and faith-based organizations can remain open during a state of emergency.

The bill was introduced by state Rep. Richard Yow and by state senators Billy Garrett and George Campsen.

Dave Wilson, who leads Palmetto Family Council, tells AFN the bill was important “because it is a clear recognition by our state how important religion in the faith community is, especially in times of emergency situations.”

Greg Chafuen, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, says the religious liberty law firm is commending South Carolina’s governor and legislature for defending what he calls “soul-sustaining” influences that are important for the culture and are also protected by the First Amendment.

“While public officials have the authority and responsibility to protect public health and safety,” the attorney says, “the First Amendment prohibits the government from treating houses of worship and religious organizations worse than shopping centers, restaurants, or gyms."