California county declares itself "sanctuary county" for church gatherings

by Laura Mize · Aug 11th, 2020 1:03 pm
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Last Updated Aug 12th, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The district attorney for San Luis Obispo County, California, has announced it to be a "sanctuary county" for churches and worshippers.

District Attorney Dan Dow said in July that he will not prosecute people for leading or attending church services, which have been outlawed in most California counties under Gov. Gavin Newsom's coronavirus lockdown orders. Newsom also has prohibited singing in churches throughout the state, another mandate that Dow said he refuses to enforce.

In a video posted to YouTube on July 31, Dow mentioned a July 4 speech he gave, in which he said San Luis Obispo County was "a sanctuary county for singing and praising in our houses of worship."

In the video, Dow also explained subsequent refusal to attempt to prohibit people from singing.

"Inherent with my responsibility to enforce the law is the discretion I have as the chief prosecutor to pursue only those charges that are warranted and are in the interest of justice," Dow said.

He also discussed the state's decision to release "tens of thousands" of prisoners who were erelased by the state to help curb the spread of the virus.

"It would be, in my opinion, the very definition of insanity if we simultaneously branded a person of faith as a criminal for singing in a house of worship," Dow said. "It would be a severe injustice for my office to charge a person with a crime who has simply chosen to practice their faith by singing with their congregation."


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