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TALAHASSE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received a bill passed by Florida lawmakers designating religious services as “essential services” on Friday. DeSantis has until the end of the month to sign the bill. 

SB 254 passed the Florida Senate in January and states that the government cannot shut down religious services under most circumstances. Under the provisions of the bill, religious services can take place as long as businesses remain open, and the government can only stop religious services if an emergency order applies “to all entities in the affected jurisdiction, so long as the provisions involve furtherance of a compelling government interest and are the least restrictive means furthering that compelling government interest. 

The bill came after religious groups and conservative politicians and commentators voiced concerns over the closure of churches and synagogues during the COVID-19 lockdowns, pointing out that liquor stores remained open yet houses of worship were forced to close. 

Senator Jason Brodeur, the bill’s sponsor, said that the bill was in part a response to forced church closings during the COVID lockdowns. “It applies to all emergency orders that would come in. It would basically say if Publix is open, so is your place of worship,” said Brodeur. “What it doesn’t seek to do is what we’ve seen in some of the other states, where churches, synagogues and mosques were singled out for congregated activities.”

READ: Florida becomes only US state to not pre-order COVID shots for infants and young children

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Five Tampa Bay Rays pitchers are now subject to a media witch-hunt after refusing to wear LGBT symbols on their hats and shirts because of their faith in God. 

One ESPN commentator called the men "bigoted" for supposedly using "religious exemption BS" to say "no" to the Pride Month clothing.

It's time to stand with these men against the intolerance of the radical left.

SIGN the petition to support the MLB players opposing LGBT Pride

The careers and lives of the five pitchers — Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson — will be greatly harmed if we abandon them to the cancel culture of their critics, like ESPN's Sarah Spain.

“That religious exemption BS is used in sports and otherwise also allows for people to be denied health care, jobs, apartments, children, prescriptions, all sorts of rights,” Spain claimed. 

“We have to stop tiptoeing around it because we’re trying to protect people who are trying to be bigoted...” she continued.

These men should be celebrated for their bravery, but instead are being derided for sticking up for their Christian beliefs. 

SIGN the petition to stand with these five brave Christian players

People are being bullied into conformity by an LGBT movement that claims to be about tolerance and diversity, unless you're a devout Christian.

“Now they’re trying to cancel people for not wearing a gay pride patch,” the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh remarked. 

“This is always the trajectory for the Left. First they demand tolerance, then acceptance, then celebration, then participation. Learn to say no to these people or it will never end.”

It's hard to imagine sports columnists like Nancy Armour of USA Today attacking Muslims for their rejection of Pride propaganda, but she sees no problem in attacking these devout Christians.

We hope Nancy Armour's reading of the New Testament extends to Romans 1:25-27.

Most commentators simply don't understand that loving everyone as a Christian means telling people certain actions are extremely harmful to the soul.

SIGN: These men were right to reject the LGBT Pride insignias on their hats and jerseys.

Indeed, by peeling off the rainbow logo from their jerseys and wearing the standard team hat, the five pitchers have taken a stand against an ideology that's antithetical to Christianity.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and every other professional sports league have promoted LGBTQ causes in recent years, including showcasing a “marriage” proposal between two homosexuals in front of a stadium packed with families.   

Sports are no longer safe from the tenticles of the LGBT movement, with players being strong-armed into virtue signaling for causes they disagree with.

It's time for people to stand up and say "Enough".

SIGN the petition and play your part in resisting the advances of intolerant wokeism into every sphere of public life.

Thank you for signing and sharing this petition.

MORE INFORMATION:

ESPN commentator calls players "bigots" for refusing to wear Pride colors - LifeSiteNews

Five MLB players take a stand for God - LifeSiteNews

**Photo: The Tampa Bay Rays’ Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson - Converseer/Twitter**

 

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A similar bill was signed by Republican Arizona governor Doug Ducey in April, which named religious services essential in emergencies. Ducey also signed a bill that protected the rights of clergy to visit hospitals. 

DeSantis signed an executive order in 2020 that designated religious services as essential during COVID lockdowns. The order also exempted religious services from stay-at-home orders.  

While Florida opted to protect religious freedoms during COVID lockdowns, other states enforced the closure of religious services. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 majority decision that California’s forced closure of in-person religious services was unconstitutional. The Thomas More Society also won two settlements against the state of California over policies that forced church closings. 

If signed, SB 354 would come into effect July 1. 

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