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Court allows in-person church service ban to stand

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Posted at 10:49 AM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 10:51:32-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a split decision in a lawsuit filed by a Bullitt County church which challenges Governor Andy Beshear's temporary ban on mass gatherings as they pertain to churches.

In the lawsuit, Pastor Jack Roberts and Maryville Baptist Church allege Beshear's orders prohibiting in-person religious services violate the first amendment.

On Thursday, a federal district court rejected the church's request for a temporary injunction barring enforcement of the orders.

On Saturday, the appellate court, based in Cincinnati, said the church would likely win on the matter of drive-in services and ordered they be allowed to continue.

Notably, the court did not make a similar ruling regarding in-person services, allowing the temporary ban on those services to stand.

The ban of mass gatherings in Kentucky was enacted in mid-March by the governor to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As Kentucky enters Phase One of "Healthy at Work," houses of worship are scheduled to reopen May 20.