Texas Voters Will Decide on Prohibition on Limiting Religious Services or Organizations Amendment

    When you vote in Texas November 2nd, you'll also be voting on whether to amend Article 1 of the state constitution by adding a new section to the Texas Constitution to prohibit the state or any political subdivision from enacting a law, or proclamation that limits religious services or organizations.

    On March 19, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring that Texans minimize social gatherings exceeding 10 people; avoid visiting bars, restaurants, and gyms; prohibit visitors at nursing facilities; and temporarily close schools. On March 31, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott amended his order to change the definition of essential services. "Essential services" were defined as "everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship." Governor Abbott also stated that if religious services could not be conducted from home or through remote services they could be conducted in person following the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control. On April 21, 2020, Governor Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton issued joint guidance around religious services during the coronavirus pandemic.

    This proposed amendment is in response to those restrictions on religious services put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A "yes" vote supports amending the state constitution to prohibit the state or any political subdivision from enacting a law, rule, order, or proclamation that limits religious services or organizations.

    A "no" vote opposes amending the state constitution to prohibit the state or any political subdivision from enacting a law, rule, order, or proclamation that limits religious services or organizations.

    In addition to Proposition 3, Texas voters will be deciding on another amendment, Proposition 6, related to policies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would establish a right for residents of nursing or assisted living facilities to designate an essential caregiver, who cannot be prohibited from in-person visitation.

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