A new law makes Georgia a “sanctuary state for people of faith,” according to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
The Faith Protection Act was a response to lockdowns and restrictions enacted by state and local authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, he said Wednesday in an interview with SiriusXMs Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow.
“I want Georgia to be known as a sanctuary state for people of faith,” Kemp said. “I think we’ve seen around the country there have been a lot of people in power, especially governors around the country, that have denied people that right of religious freedom, if you will, to be able to worship.”
Kemp was asked about the inconsistent application of restrictions that shut down churches while classifying liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries as “essential” goods and services.
“It’s very frustrating for a lot of people in Georgia, including myself,” Kemp said. “We never shut churches down. We asked our pastors and faith leaders across all denominations to work with us and help us flatten the curve and stop the spread, but we also know, and even with a pandemic, it’s important for us to be able to worship.”
Noting the right to worship is “fundamental,” he said the new law “will prevent me or any future governor from being able to shut down religious services.”
Kemp issued a statement Friday regarding the Faith Protection Act, recalling that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “people of all faiths across America were told by state governments how, where, when, or even if they could worship at all.”
“Not in Georgia,” he said. “We chose to work alongside congregations across our state to ensure they practiced their faith safely and in accordance with public health guidance.”
Kemp said the law “will ensure the emergency powers of any governor of Georgia in the years to come are not used to limit the God-given right to worship.”
“In Georgia, we never shuttered churches, synagogues, or other places of worship because we value faith, family, and freedom,” he said. “With the Faith Protection Act signed into law, Georgia will be a sanctuary state for people of faith.”
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