Ellington: Legislation protects Hoosiers’ right to gather for religious worship services during future public emergencies now law

During the early months of the pandemic, in-person religious services were prohibited, which Ellington said cut constituents off from critical services and connections. This new law prohibits the state or other government bodies from restricting the right to worship in-person, classifying religious gatherings as essential. Ellington said other religious activities like food pantries, daycare, or school services can also not be more restricted than other essential services.

“Religious institutions play a major role in helping Hoosiers meet their spiritual and everyday needs,” Ellington said. “This law ensures important functions, even when they are in-person, can continue and not be impeded on.”  

Americans’ mental health in 2020 was worse than at any point in the last two decades, according to an annual Gallup poll. Frequent church attendees showed the least change in their mental health ratings, which Ellington said is a strong sign that religious institutions are vital to society.

Senate Enrolled Act 263 is effective July 1, 2021. Visit for more information.

State Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-Bloomington) represents House District 62, which includes portions of Greene, Monroe, Martin and Daviess counties.

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