Three churches in Northern California have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom. They claim that a ban he imposed on singing in places of worship, implemented to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, violates their First Amendment rights.
"Places of worship must, therefore, discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower,"
Churches, like all facilities in the state deemed nonessential, were closed in March along with the governor's stay-at-home orders at the beginning of the pandemic. But as restrictions were eased and more sectors of the economy reopened, the state limited people's gathering as well as limited the attendance with singing at church worship.
"Singing in church is a biblical mandate," said Kevin Green, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Fort Bragg.
The three churches that filed a federal lawsuit were reported to be Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel of Fort Bragg, and River of Life Church in Oroville.