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Churches Sue Over Massachusetts’ Transgender Bathroom Law

Churches Sue Over Massachusetts’ Transgender Bathroom Law

“Government officials have no business determining which church activities are religious and which ones aren’t.”

https://youtu.be/o7ERFeJxlD4

The progressive war on Christianity has been at full throttle for quite some time, and now we are seeing it playing out in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts passed a law that “Gives transgender people the right to use restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identities, and includes language to provide “legal action [against] any person whose assertion of a gender identity is for an improper purpose.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, of unilateral “assault weapons” ban fame, has decided that churches are included in this law and that government can dictate church actions and silence church speech when it “conflicts with the government’s view.”

WCVB 5 reports:

A new state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms is “punishing” the protected religious speech of churches and pastors, a conservative Christian organization claims in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Alliance Defending Freedom, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, said it sued on behalf of four Massachusetts churches to protect their right to operate their facilities “in a manner that doesn’t violate their core religious beliefs.” The lawsuit names Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey and members of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as defendants.

The law, which was signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in July and went into effect in October, bars discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations. Among other things, it allows people to use the bathrooms or locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities.

Healey has found that churches are places of public accommodation.

It doesn’t stop there. According to the ADF, Healey intends to silence churches and pastors when their religious views conflict “with the government’s view.”

WCVB 5 continues:

The ADF contends in the lawsuit that churches would be forced to open changing rooms, shower facilities and restrooms based on perceived gender identity and not on biological sex. The group says because the law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate or to incite others to do so, Healey and the commission “also intend to force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s views.”

“Neither the commission nor the attorney general has the constitutional authority to dictate how any church uses its facility or what public statements a church can make concerning a deeply held religious belief, such as human sexuality,” said attorney Steve O’Ban, senior counsel for ADF.

The ADF is requesting that the “court to suspend enforcement of the law against the churches while their lawsuit proceeds. The churches suing are Horizon Christian Fellowship, in Fitchburg; Abundant Life Church, in Swansea; House of Destiny Ministries, in Southbridge; and Faith Christian Fellowship in Haverhill.”

The ADF writes of the lawsuit:

In July 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature added “gender identity” as a protected class to the commonwealth’s public accommodation laws and directed the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and then attorney general to issue regulations or guidance by Sept. 1. On that date, the commission issued its “Gender Identity Guidance,” which states that “a church could be seen as a place of public accommodation if it holds a secular event, such as a spaghetti supper, that is open to the public.” Healey then issued her own “Gender Identity Guidance for Public Accommodation,” saying on her website that “houses of worship” are places of public accommodation.

“All events held at a church on its property have a religious purpose, and the government has no authority to violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of religion and speech,” explained ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “Government officials have no business determining which church activities are religious and which ones aren’t.”

As the ADF complaint points out, “The Legislature and MCAD failed to provide an exemption for religious institutions, nor did MCAD attempt to define the ‘secular activities’ that it believed might subject a church to the Act, other than the woefully inadequate and confusing ‘spaghetti supper’ test. Indeed, MCAD expressly stated that it would not provide an objective standard, but would review a charge ‘involving religious institutions or religious exemptions…on a case-by-case-basis.’ Thus, a pastor, other church leader, or a court must guess as to which of the church’s activities subject it to the severe sanctions of the Act, which include fines of $50,000 per violation, up to 365 days in jail, and attorneys’ fees.”

Watch the report:

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Comments

They don’t really need to sue. Wait until the legislature is back in session and have half the women go into the men’s room and vice versa. Really mix the sexes up in the capitol.
Line them up and make the legislators wait after a long session.
And if the legislators have a “private” bathroom, sue them over that perk. Make them live under the despotism they espouse.

DieJustAsHappy | October 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm

And, mosques? Are they also included under this law? If not, why not? Or, are we to assume that what transpires in them is consistent with “government’s views”?

NEWSFLASH!

Gender identification should be determined by genetics PERIOD!

“Feel Good” variants need not apply…

If a man in complete drag came in the men’s room, it would make me very uncomfortable, especially if it was an interstate rest area.

No Men in Women’s Rest Room! I never imagined that such a sign would be necessary. How can this even be controversial?

The “guidance” issued by Healey is intended to cause chaos and put the fear of state prosecution into the minds of people of faith and their church leaders. Gender identity has absolutely nothing to do with being transgender. It’s merely an expression of one’s feelings that can change from minute to minute, hour to hour. There is absolutely no requirement that the person be undergoing any therapy, see a counselor, a psychiatrist or a doctor.

Wherever there is a Muslim majority, the law or guidance will be nullified. If not, the first school principal or teacher that allows a full blooded biological male to use the same bathroom as a Muslim girl will find himself without a head.

NYC definition of gender identity: “one’s internal deeply-held sense of one’s gender which may be the same or different from one’s sex assigned at birth.” NY inserted “deeply-held” as
a comedic device.

NYC upped the ante to $250,000 fines

http://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/law/legal-guidances-gender-identity-expression.page

Look what’s going on in Maryland:

“A Maryland school district is instructing teachers and administrators not to tell parents if their daughters are bunking with male students who identify as girls on overnight field trips.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/23/md-schools-dont-tell-parents-transgender-males/

If Hitler had a son…er, a daughter,…agh!

This is so September. Get on with the times, social conservatives!

Next Step – Churches will be forced to Marry Gays in the Sanctuary or lose their Tax Exemptions.

If you don’t see this one coming you are just not paying attention.

    Xenomethean in reply to MattMusson. | October 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Churches not having tax exemptions would be great, this way they can get involved with politics like they are suppose to, The tax exemption was made by the Left to entice churches, primarily Christian churches, to not have influence in politics.

Healey’s actions generally have been quite dangerous. Wait until she becomes Governor in 2018!

“All events held at a church on its property have a religious purpose,…” Can’t say that about AA meetings at our parish. I’m sure there are many more examples elsewhere.

DieJustAsHappy | October 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

From the article: It doesn’t stop there. According to the ADF, Healey intends to silence churches and pastors when their religious views conflict “with the government’s view.”

I wonder whether a strong legal case could be argued that be adopting this policy this would be tantamount to establishing a religion? If so, then wouldn’t this nullify this AG’s attempt to limit speech in any recognized religious gathering?

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