Horseheads, N.Y. (WETM) – Lighthouse Baptist Church has been the center of a religious freedom discussion in the Southern Tier.
What started as a COVID-19 outbreak, ended up with the church filing a lawsuit against Chemung County.
“We think that Chemung County should go back and read the constitution and realize we’re not a gym and we’re not a bar,” said R. Anthony Rupp III, litigator for Lighthouse Baptist Church.
According to the lawsuit, the church stated on numerous occasions it was willing to comply with the county’s guidance, yet it cannot open until it agrees to comply with additional requirements, such as, a full list of names and contact information of everyone who attended the church.
“(The county) would require that the church provide a log daily whether the church was open or not, provide a daily log of cleaning and sanitation that was done within the church and where it was done. We had to provide that every single day.”
Rupp says the county never did an extensive investigation on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Supreme Court recently blocked New York from enforcing COVID limits on churches.
The case is expected to go to the Western District Court of New York on December 10th.
We reached out to the county for additional comment on the case, but we have not heard back.
This is a developing story, so we will provide additional information.