District Judge grants restraining order against enforcement stopping drive-in church services
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A US District Judge has granted a filing for a temporary restraining order filed by On Fire Christian Center against Mayor Greg Fischer and the city of Louisville, preventing enforcement against drive-in church services.
Recent briefings by the mayor of Louisville and Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has stressed the importance of not hosting in-person mass gatherings to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
Throughout the week, Mayor Fischer has urged churchgoers to stay home. On Tuesday, Fischer said that drive-thru church services would not be allowed, and on Friday that he urged residents in the city of Louisville to stay at home and not attend any Easter services in person.
First Liberty, a religious liberty law firm, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the church against Fischer Friday asking for a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement against drive-in church services.
The church had followed CDC’s health guidelines, keeping cars six feet apart and having windows no more than half open.
A court document from the United States District Court states the city cannot enforce prohibition on drive-in church services at On Fire Christian Center.
Mayor Fischer talked about the restraining order in his briefing on Saturday, mentioning photos released of an On Fire Christian Center drive-in service back in March.
Fischer said that he attempted multiple times to provide evidence there was no legal enforcement of CDC guidelines. He said it was done to try and save lives and referenced a Hopkins County church revival, where 54 people were infected with COVID-19 and 6 people died.
He implored faith leaders to not hold in-person or drive-in services, and said that according to his statistics, more than 99 percent of religious leaders have been on board in the area to cancel any mass gatherings.
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