Delaware agrees to treat church services neutrally in settlement over COVID restrictions

The governor of Delaware has settled a federal lawsuit over church-related COVID-19 restrictions, which he had imposed at the start of the pandemic in March.

In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, Governor John Carney agreed this week that in any future emergency requiring state actions, he “must treat churches and religious worship in a neutral manner,” DelawareOnline reported.

Rev. Dr. Christopher Alan Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, filed the lawsuit challenging the state’s coronavirus restrictions in late May.

Bullock argued that the restrictions that Carney had placed on houses of worship, but not other categories of essential businesses, were unconstitutional.

Carney had imposed restrictions on houses of worship such as requirements that church services not last longer than one hour, with a hard limit of 10 people allowed inside, instead of a percentage of the listed fire capacity.

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