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'A blessing': Court rules DC church can hold outdoor services after being denied permit


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Washington Examiner

Zachary Halaschak

October 10, 2020 04:04 PM

A federal court has ruled that a church in Washington, D.C., is allowed to resume large outdoor services after it was denied a permit by the city.

Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction on Friday. The Capitol Hill Baptist Church filed a lawsuit against Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city after its request for a permit for 850 people was refused.

Since being denied a permit, the church has been holding services in a field in Virginia, according to the Washington Post. McFadden’s preliminary injunction allows churchgoers to return to Washington and hold their services outdoors while the lawsuit proceeds.

Washington, D.C., has placed a ban on indoor or outdoor religious gatherings of more than 100 people in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Despite that, thousands of people have congregated around the District in mass gatherings to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Bowser has attended and encouraged such events.

The church argued that it was being discriminated against, given the mayor’s support for large outdoor protests being held over the past few months. McFadden concurred with the church and said Washington’s support for recent protests “undermines its contention that it has a compelling interest in capping the number of attendees at the Church’s outdoor services.”

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