Update: Indiana Attorney General Weighs in on Church Closure Order
Yesterday, I sent out our weekly email with some thoughts on the Corona virus. If you missed it, please check your email in order to put this one in full context. It was titled “Close That IN Church,” sent around 11:45 am. (Thanks to all those who sent me notes of encouragement or thoughts on that email covering various matters.)
One item I did not mention, though it was in the news story I referenced, concerned a request by two Fort Wayne city council members and two state legislators to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. It asked him to look at the Allen County Health Department order singling out churches differently from other facilities, locations or businesses.
Late last night I received a copy of the AG’s response, which was a letter to the Allen County Health Commissioner. It agreed with our concern that to single out churches with groups of 10 and not others in the same manner, had constitutional problems.
There is a news story this morning at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazettequoting his letter. The Health Commissioner has agreed to change her order to fit with the Governor’s statewide stay-at-home directive enacted yesterday, (which makes her order over the weekend a bit of a moot point).
Attorney General Hill’s letter states in part, “Absent scientific evidence that the COVID-19 virus spread more quickly in religious gatherings than others, your order amounts to unconstitutional religious discrimination.”