Governor Brad Little responds to religious groups regarding mask mandates and spiritual needs

Brad Little
FILE - In this March 13, 2020 file photo, Idaho Gov. Brad Little speaks at a news conference at his Statehouse office in Boise, Idaho. Legislation making abortion a crime in Idaho should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure has been signed into law by Little. The Republican governor signed the measure on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, according to his website. The measure includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Criminal punishment would be a felony and apply to the person performing the abortion, not the woman. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP, File)

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Governor Brad Little is responding to religious groups in his state regarding mask mandates and spiritual needs.

Wednesday, a church group in Moscow held a psalm sing outside city hall. The event involved almost 200 people. Moscow Police said people were not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing. Police officers ended up arresting three people and issuing five citations for people violating the city’s rules.

In early July, Moscow City Council passed a city ordinance that requires anyone in public to wear a face mask or face covering and maintain social distancing.

The group that helped organize Wednesday’s psalm sing was Christ Church.

One of its deacons, Gabriel Rench, told 4 News Now, “This is so much bigger than wearing a mask. And even then, if the government can tell you to wear a mask – they can tell me to wear a condom, they can tell me to stick a needle in my arm for a vaccine. No, where does it stop? We just logically can’t even follow the slippery slope because we are so blind – are so cowed – into the following the big lie that is going on.”

READ MORE: ‘Everyone is believing a massive lie’; Moscow church organizes gathering of almost 200, three people arrested

Governor Little’s office released a statement Friday morning reiterating the rights and authorities of the local governments in his state.

Governor Little reminded, he has not put a mask order in place statewide.

He said Idaho Legislature put into law the authority of local governments to create and enforce mask mandates years ago. Governor Little clarified in a statement from his office, his emergency order does not give local governments the authority to create and enforce mask mandates. Based on the laws passed by Idaho Legislature, local governments already have that authority with or without an emergency order.

Read the full statement from the Office of the Governor Brad Little: