US says California order discriminates against churches

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ROBERT JABLON Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of the federal Justice Department's Civil Rights Division told Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday that his plan to reopen California discriminates against churches. In a letter to the governor, Eric S. Dreiband said that despite a coronavirus pandemic "that is unprecedented in our lifetimes," Newsom should allow some in-person worship under the current second phase of his four-part reopening plan. Restaurants and other secular businesses are being allowed to reopen under social distancing guidelines but not churches, which are limited to online and similar services. That places an "unfair burden" on them that violates civil rights protections through "unequal treatment of faith communities," the letter said. "Simply put, there is n
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