UPDATED 2:33 PM PT – Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) signed a new law to protect religious liberties within his state. The Freedom to Worship Act went into effect on Tuesday, which protects the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
The law will prohibit any government agency or public official from issuing an order that closes churches or other places of worship in Texas. It was backed by several Republicans amid pandemic closures, including Rep. Scott Sanford, who has been a strong supporter of religious liberty and the freedom to worship.
I just signed a law that prohibits any government agency or public official from issuing an order that closes places of worship.
The First Amendment right to freedom of religion shall never be infringed.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 15, 2021
“Friends if we don’t have liberty we have the opposite, it’s tyranny.” he explained. “…So to hang onto our liberties, we must hang on to scripture.”
Sanford went on to assert churches provide essential spiritual, mental and physical support especially times of crisis. Many religious leaders across the Lone Star state supported his efforts.
Jordan River Church Pastor Jorge Tovar argued, “Though our constitution defends us, but this is I think a little more important to have clarity and assurance that the house of worship will not be closed or even regulated.”
On Twitter, Abbott went on to vow the First Amendment will never be compromised.