Attorney Roger Byron of First Liberty Institute, the law firm representing Danville Christian Academy (DCA) in Danville, Kentucky, explains that Governor Andy Beshear (D-Kentucky) has shut down all K-12 schools’ in-person instruction, to include K-12 religious schools.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R-Kentucky) is also part of the request from First Liberty Institute.
“Attorney General Cameron and his legal team have certainly led the way on this matter, and we filed a joint complaint with the US District Court on behalf of not only our client, Danville Christian Academy, but also for all the private religious schools in the state of Kentucky,” Byron relays.
He points out that under the First Amendment, a government generally has to treat a religious gathering just as it treats over gatherings. In the contect of COVID-19, that means a government can almost never apply a restriction to religious gatherings that it has not also applied to other gatherings, like going to the movies, going shopping at a retail store or at the mall, going to work in an office, going to work in a factory, or attending a wedding.
“In Kentucky, you can do almost anything in person, but you can’t attend a religious class at a private religious school,” the attorney reports.
Earlier this year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling preventing religious schools from holding in-person classes.
“Under the governor’s orders, people can attend a friend’s wedding and then afterwards maybe catch a workout or attend a matinee at the local theater, go to a concert, swing by the liquor store, and, if they wanted, go get tattoos, and end their evening by maybe playing slot machines down at the indoor gambling parlor,” Byron submits. “But what they can’t do is attend a Bible class at a private religious school.”