While same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues are getting themselves entrenched in American law and jurisprudence, transgenders are now the focus of the politically-correct left in the USA, as anyone willing to be honest would admit.
Now a second U.S. state has decided that churches, too, are bound by the agenda. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) released a “Gender Identity Guidance” that imposes its demands on society, including churches.
“The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination enforces [state law on discrimination]. The MCAD developed this guidance to educate the public about discrimination based on gender identity, to describe what evidence may be submitted to support a claim of gender identity discrimination, to inform individuals of their rights, and to assist employers, providers of housing, mortgage services, and owners, managers and agents of places of public accommodation in understanding their obligations.”
The conflict with churches arises under the instructions for “places of public accommodation.” “Under [the law] places of public accommodation may not discriminate against, or restrict a person from services because of that person’s gender identity. For example, a hotel or motel may not refuse to book a room for a person because of the person’s gender identity,” the guidance says. “Even 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 general public.”
But churches often have public events to attract new members. The Massachusetts law seems to take aim at these events by following the Obama unofficial designation that religious freedom only applies to worship.
Even the use of pronouns referring to a transgender’s biological sex is prohibited by the guidance. One conservative blogger said, “Tolerating such remarks is generally seen as allowing a ‘hostile environment,’ and therefore ‘harassment.’ Indeed, the statement… specifically encourages people to ‘prohibit derogatory comments or jokes about transgender persons from employees, clients, vendors and any others, and promptly investigate and discipline persons who engage in discriminatory conduct’.”
Churches, it seems, could be held liable to punishment if they do not suppress their own congregant’s or worker’s expression that might be offensive to transgenders. Any ‘public accommodation’ can be “ordered not to say anything that might make a homosexual or a transgender feel ‘unwelcome,’ such as even reading from the Bible a condemnation of such behavior.”
“Churches should be free to communicate their religious beliefs and operate their houses of worship according to their faith without fearing government punishment,” said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “It’s not good enough for government officials to say we should simply trust them to tell us what is religious and what isn’t. The law must be clear, and at present, the only thing that’s clear is that the law gives too much power to government bureaucrats who don’t even seem to understand the most basic constitutional principles.”
When the state identifies a church or some or all of its activities as a “public” accommodation, narrows the definition of a “bona fide religious purpose,” and tells a church what it can say and what it cannot say, it has crossed the constitutional line described in the first amendment.
In Iowa state, a similar commission also claims that state law demands that people be given access to church restrooms and locker rooms according to “gender identity.”
Religious freedom is more clearly than ever under attack by those pushing transgender rights. It is chipping away at the U.S. Constitution’s first amendment in its bill of rights. Gradually, but rapidly, every principle is being eroded until it will be completely repudiated. See Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 451.
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.” Luke 17:28.