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09/21/2020 08:11 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31805
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 15, 2020 03:36 PM
From: Representative Clint Owlett and Rep. Eric R. Nelson
To: All House members
Subject: Our religious freedoms did not go away during COVID-19.
 
I will soon introduce legislation to clarify that houses of worship have the right to assemble during an emergency declaration with no restrictions that have the force of law.

It is with great sadness that I have found the need to circulate this memo and draft this legislation.  But given vague, and often confusing, guidance coming from this administration, our religious organizations must know – and have clarity – that they are able to worship as they see fit in the Commonwealth as guaranteed by our Constitution and the Constitution of the United States of America, especially in an emergency declaration.

Our houses of worship are coming up with creative solutions to still gather in a very safe way. They should not be held to, or requested to follow, some arbitrary standard created by government.

My legislation would amend the Religious Freedom Protection Act to provide that no order issued during an emergency, or control measure issued under the Disease Prevention and Control Law, may impact the free exercise of religion. 

I would greatly appreciate your support in this legislation.