This is huge news: Less than four months after President Trump suggested that churches should be able to receive federal disaster relief funds (just like any other organization), officials have changed the federal policies to allow for just that.
“Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment,” said Alex Amparo of FEMA.
“By finally following the Constitution, FEMA is getting rid of second-class status for churches,” Becket attorney Daniel Bloomberg said.
Explaining the policy change, FEMA cited the 2017 Supreme Court Trinity Lutheran case. Last June, the court ruled that governments could not discriminate against religious institutions that qualify for public aid. The decision was viewed as a major victory for religious freedom.
According to Becket, the Texas churches and Florida synagogues were denied aid for three months. They then asked Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to intervene. He asked FEMA to respond to the lawsuits.