Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Ensure Government Can’t Close Churches

State   |   Citizens for Community Values   |   May 27, 2020   |   6:43PM   |   Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio Senate just passed legislation to clarify that no governor has authority to close Houses of Worship.

The following statement is from Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer:

“Throughout America, governors have exercised unlawful executive power, attacking our First Amendment freedoms. Some have gone so far as to order churches closed. Thankfully, Governor Mike DeWine has never attempted to close churches.”

“Yet some Christians and people of faith have been misled to believe that churches have been closed. With today’s amendment to HB 272, the Ohio Senate sends a crystal-clear message: no governor has the authority to stop us from peaceably assembling to worship Jesus Christ. The bill extends this same protection to all people of faith.”

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“No one should have to go to court to protect our fundamental freedoms of religion. CCV is grateful for the leadership of Senate President Obhof and the Ohio Senate for sending this simple, yet essential message.”

“As our lawmakers lead Ohio through this crisis, we encourage them to continue to safeguard basic freedoms as we responsibly reopen our state. Citizens for Community Values encourages the General Assembly to address the ongoing liability concerns churches, ministries, schools, and businesses have in the light of COVID-19 by enacting a version of SB 308 or HB 606.”

“We also encourage the General Assembly to enact a version of SB 1 or SB 311, which would put reasonable checks and balances and legislative oversight on the Ohio Department of Health’s authority, while also ensuring ODH has the ability to respond swiftly to a public health crisis.”