Governor Must Allow Houses of Worship to Reopen in Stage 2 to Assist Californians

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) issued statements after delivering a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to allow Houses of Worship to reopen as part of California’s Stage 2. Members of the Senate and Assembly Republican Caucuses signed on to the letter which media can read here.   

Stage 2 is part of California’s “Resilience Roadmap Stages” which is set to start on Friday, May 8. Some businesses that are included in the state's early phase of "Stage 2"  include book stores, clothing stores, sporting goods, toy stores, and florists, given they follow additional safety protocols. The governor's initial Roadmap announcement cited schools and childcare facilities with modifications as being included in Stage 2. 

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove: “The stay-at-home order has been very difficult for individuals dealing with isolation, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and domestic violence. During this time when people are mourning lost loved ones and struggling in their everyday lives, it is more important than ever that houses of worship be open for millions of Californians to seek hope, encouragement, support, and healing. Houses of worship should be considered a higher priority for the Governor and be included into Stage 2 of our state’s reopening plan.”

Senator Mike Morrell: “Congregations and ministry leaders have adapted to the pandemic in extraordinary ways to care for their members and maintain critical connection when many are feeling more isolated and lonely. However, these acts are not a replacement for gathering together at a house of worship. With the governor’s Stage 3 perhaps months away, California should look to instead partner with churches and others to reopen during Stage 2 with clear guidelines that protect public health while recognizing spiritual needs as essential and assuring the safeguarding of First Amendment rights.”