Kemp: Bar Georgia governors from limiting religious services

Georgia News

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 11, 2017 file photo, the sun sets on a Baptist church in Georgia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is endorsing legislation that would bar future governors from limiting in-person religious services during a public health emergency.

The bill unveiled Thursday would ensure that emergency powers granted to the governor for any reason could not be used to limit the practice of any religion.

Kemp allowed houses of worship to remain open during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic — so long as congregants maintained social distancing.

That’s despite the fact that some of the state’s earliest outbreaks were linked to religious services.

Kemp had sought instead to work with religious leaders to promote alternative means of gathering such as online or drive-up services.

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