Monday, April 27, 2020
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she has reached a deal that could resolve a lawsuit brought by two churches challenging her order banning religious gatherings of more than 10 people to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Under the deal, the two churches and the Democratic governor agreed to the extension of a temporary restraining order that allows the churches to disregard the 10-person limit. The court's initial order let the two churches to gather in-person until May 2 as long as they complied with social-distancing measures, including keeping worshippers a safe distance from each other. The new proposal would extend that court order to May 16.
The agreement, which a judge must still approve, essentially allows the churches to continue in-person services while the governor finalizes plans for her less restrictive statewide reopening orders that would take effect on May 4.
A religious freedom advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a news release that it reserved the right to continue litigating the matter if the governor does not follow through with “appropriately amending her mass gathering ban.”
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