(NBC NEWS) -- Three southern California churches have filed a lawsuit against the state's governor and local officials over orders that ban religious gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order says that residents should stay home, except for essential needs or jobs. It required indoor shopping malls and nonessential retail to close.
But the pastors of three churches in Riverside and San Bernadino counties filed a federal lawsuit on Monday in the Central District of California, saying that religious services should be deemed essential because they are important for the "spiritual health of the congregation."
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