House Bill 2648 is called the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act and exempts churches and other places of worship from having to close even during a public health emergency like a pandemic. The Senate gave its approval to the measure on Tuesday sending it to the governor’s desk.
“Our religious freedoms have come under attack in recent years, and this is one area where that has become very apparent. During the pandemic, churches were deemed nonessential, and closures were recommended,” said Senator David Bullard, who is the Senate author of HB 2648. “This bill will protect our houses of worship. I want to thank the men and women who are standing strong in supporting this bill, and others like it, to protect our religious freedoms.”
House author Representative Brian Hill says closure puts a burden on churches.