California churches celebrate win for religious liberty
Churches in California are celebrating their victory for religious freedom after a religious freedom legal group secured settlements requiring the state to pay $2.1 million in attorneys' fees to a Pentecostal church and a Catholic priest and to never again impose discriminatory restrictions on houses of worship.
In an injunction on Monday in a lawsuit filed by South Bay United Pentecostal Church last year, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant prohibited Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officers from “issuing or enforcing regulations” against houses of worship in response to the pandemic.
The state has also agreed to pay $1.6 million in attorneys’ fees to settle the lawsuit, as well as to pay another $550,000 toward a lawsuit filed by a Catholic priest, Fr. Trevor Burfitt, who oversees mission churches in the counties of Kern, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles.