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District Judge Overrules Restrictions on Houses of Worship by Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio


By Tom Campisi, publisher of tristatevoice.com

New York District Judge Gary S. Sharpe recently ruled that Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio treated religious institutions unfairly in imposing restrictions on houses of worship while not enforcing those same restrictions on protests and retail stores.

The New York Daily News, reporting on the judge’s decision in the suit brought by two Catholic priests and three Orthodox Jewish congregants, noted that “Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio favored protest over prayer when imposing coronavirus restrictions.”

In his decision, Judge Sharpe wrote that de Blasio and Cuomo cannot encourage thousands of people to take to the streets to protest racial injustice while also restricting outdoor religious gatherings. The judge blocked the state from enforcing any limitations on outdoor religious gatherings, provided worshipers follow social-distancing requirements, according to media reports. Sharpe also ruled that Cuomo and de Blasio cannot treat houses of worship differently than businesses like salons and retail stores. Under phase 2 of New York’s re-opening plan, the city and state had allowed retail stores to operate at 50% capacity while limiting houses of worship to 25% indoor capacity.

“Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules,” Sharpe said.

Related Facebook Post from Pastor and Attorney Mario Gonzalez:


RELATED: Why Can Protesters Gather While Churches and Ministries Are Limited, especially in NYC and New Jersey?