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Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton provide joint guidance for houses of worship operating as essential services

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued joint guidance regarding the effect of Executive Order GA 14 on religious services conducted in congregations and houses of worship.  

“All Texans must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, and houses of worship face a particular challenge as we work to combat this pandemic,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This guidance provides clear direction for houses of worship to protect the health and safety of Texans as they continue to hold religious services, exercise their religious liberty, and serve their faith communities.”  

The Executive Order GA 14 defines essential services to include “religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship.” Orders given by state or local governments prohibiting people from providing or obtaining certain services must ensure that the orders do not violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Article I of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protect the rights of Texans to freely exercise their religion.  

Read the joint guidance document here.  

For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.

Editor’s note: The photo associated with this article is owned by Three:Thirteen Photography. Any usage of this photo without the copyright owner’s express consent will be prosecuted to the furthest extent the law allows.

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