De Blasio Defends Banning Religious Gatherings But Not BLM Marches: ‘Apples and Oranges’

BERMAN: “I want to ask you about a court decision from last week. A federal court ruled that you and Governor Cuomo violated the Constitution by restricting religious services during the lockdown and the pandemic. The court said you ‘openly discouraged religious gatherings and threatened religious worshipers and sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.’ Essentially saying that you treated the protesters who were on the streets differently than the religious gatherings that were on the streets. Your reaction?”

DE BLASIO: “No, just wrong. We worked with the religious leadership of this city for months. Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic church and so many other religious leaders who are in full agreement that it was not time to bring back religious services because of the danger it would cause to their congregants. The protests were an entirely different reality, a national phenomenon, that was not something that the government could just say, you know, go away, it’s something that really came from the grassroots. And obviously, it had profound meaning and we’re all acting on the meaning of those protests. But it’s really apples and oranges. Our religious leaders were the first to say it was not time to bring back services. Now we’re doing it carefully, smartly. So I — I think that decision profoundly misses what the very religious institutions themselves were saying.”

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