The Texas Legislature is considering a bill that would strip state and local leaders of their ability to enact policies shown to save lives during this pandemic and future emergencies. This is in response to the unwarranted and dangerous pattern of churches insisting that they must be exempt from public health orders during emergencies.
Please urge Texas lawmakers to oppose this dangerous measure and prioritize public health and safety over well-connected special interest groups.
The bill, HB 3046, is designed to interfere with local governments’ ability to cooperate with the federal government on emergency response policies, including on policies that limit worship services. Governments already regularly limit worship gatherings that jeopardize public health. For instance, the government prohibits churches from cramming too many people into a building in violation of fire codes and also requires that church buildings comply with necessary building codes. Preventing large gatherings due to a pandemic is even more crucial. Limiting the size and scope of religious gatherings is not a ban on worship any more than speed limits are a ban on driving.
The Texas House State Affairs Committee has a hearing on HB 3046 next Tuesday, April 20, at 8 a.m. local time. Please click on the red “Take Action” link below to contact all members of this committee and urge them to vote no on HB 3046. Feel free to use or adapt the talking points provided.