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Senator Garrett and Representative McCravy lead effort to protect religious freedoms

Columbia, SC 04/17/2022 - Sen. Billy Garrett, who now represents a portion of Lexington County and is the chair of the sub-committee on Religious Freedom, announced passage of the Religious Freedom Act out of the Senate committee. The Religious Freedom Act reaffirms religious services as essential and prohibits the government from forcing the closure of churches during times of emergency as some did during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Religious Freedom Act passed out of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

“We must continue to stand up for our Constitutional rights under threat by increasing government overreach in our lives. Our local churches are an essential to our community and must be protected,” Senator Garrett said. “No church should ever be forced by politicians to stop their worship and close their doors.”

Rep. John McCravy, Chairman of Special Laws Judiciary subcommittee, successfully ushered SC Religious Freedom Act (H.3105) through his committee and the House. "The government cannot be allowed to shut down churches, particularly during times of emergency when we need them most," Representative McCravy said.

This week's announcement makes it likely to pass the full Senate and be sent to the Governor to sign into law. Many states and localities across the country saw the government force houses of worship to close during the pandemic, a time when many felt they most needed to come together as Christians to worship and pray. Governor McMaster issued an executive order temporarily protecting churches from being forced to close during a State of Emergency. If signed, the Religious Freedom Act will prevent the church closures by the government during a state of emergency permanently.

Senator Garrett was selected by Senate Leadership to be Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee where the Religious Freedom Act passed.


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