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Chula Vista church among churches suing over right to worship

South Bay Pentecostal Church
Posted at 11:38 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 14:39:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - South Bay Pentecostal Church has been involved in a legal battle since May regarding worshiping indoors, and officials think Friday could be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Senior Pastor Arthur Hodges believes during a motions hearing Friday morning the church will be granted permission to reopen indoors.

His hope comes from the latest rulings by several judges.

On Dec. 3, the Supreme Court ruled places of worship in New York could reopen, saying restrictions meant to curb the pandemic violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.

After that ruling, the high court issued an unsigned order to California judges to reconsider Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled restaurants could reopen indoors in San Diego.

"That absolutely makes us hopeful, and I've told restaurateurs, business owners, whatever, we're fighting for you, too. Now we have a bigger gun than they do. We've got the Constitution, OK; they don't have that. but they're finding ways to get around it with the right to assemble," Hodges said.

Hodges said back in May their initial lawsuit was voted down 5-4 by the Supreme Court.

Hodges believes under a high court that shifted majority when Judge Amy Coney Barrett replaced the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, they will prevail.

"If religious liberties are lost, you can mark it down your personal liberties are going to be lost," Hodges said, arguing this lawsuit is to protect more than places of worship.

Hodges said if they win this legal battle it will pave the way for the rest of the country.