Two Kansas churches have filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Laura Kelly over an order banning religious gatherings with more than 10 people, arguing that the directive violates their religious and free-speech rights.
The lawsuit also alleges that Kelly’s order violates the churches and pastors’ right to assembly, guaranteed along with religious and free-speech rights by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It also contends that it violates a state law meant to protect religious freedom.
The lawsuit was filed by First Baptist Church in Dodge City and Calvary Baptist Church in Junction City.
Both churches have congregation members sit 6 feet apart – in line with public health recommendations on social distancing – and took numerous other steps, such as not using collection plates, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit argues that Kelly’s order limiting church gatherings to 10 or fewer members of a congregation discriminates against and “shows hostility” toward churches when many secular businesses still can operate.