Thursday, May 28, 2020

Family of 12 Challenges Virginia Restrictions On Worship Services Of Over Ten Persons

Suit was filed last week in a Virginia federal district court by a Catholic family of 12 challenging the provisions in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's COVID-19 order that bars worship services with more than ten people. (The state is loosening these requirements in its reopening plan.) The complaint (full text) in Diaz-Bonilla v. Northam, (ED VA, filed 5/22/2020), alleges in part:
As a result of the Orders, the Diaz-Bonilla family is able to take their entire family of 12 to: restaurants to order food; any number of retail stores (such as Walmart and Target) that sell food or pharmaceuticals among a vast array of other items; electronics retailers; home improvement stores; lawn and equipment retailers, gas stations or convenience stores; pet stores;office supply stores; laundromats and dry cleaners; or even beer, wine, and liquor stores, if those businesses, deemed essential by the Governor’s order, adhere to certain social distancing requirements.
...However, under the Orders, the Diaz-Bonilla family cannot go to church or even invite a priest or fellow parishioner to their own home for religious purposes, no matter how strictly the family engages in social distancing and sanitization practices.
LifeSite News reports on the lawsuit.