INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate has approved a bill that designates religious activities as essential services and prohibits any restrictions on them during a declared emergency. The measure approved Thursday now heads to the governor.
It would prohibit state and local orders from restricting anyone’s ability to attend religious services during disaster emergencies. The legislation also bars state and local orders from being more restrictive on churches than on other businesses considered to be essential.
Houses of worship would be allowed to hold services without regard to capacity size, social distancing or mask mandates, for example. Restrictions could apply to their schools or daycares.