The LGBT activist community can put one up on the board against the the private practice of religion in Massachusetts, due to new regulatory language that forces churches to recognize gender identities from transgendered individuals.
According to the “guidance,” any church that holds secular events, such as sponsored fairs, or social gatherings, must adhere to transgendered individuals identities…or else. That “or else,” being a fine upward of $2,500, or a years worth of jail time, or both. This may also include damages to the aggrieved.
Problem is, many church gatherings that are considered “secular,” aren’t really secular at all. In fact, they’re still church functions with that attempt a pressure free intro into the church for potential converts. The event is still has religious aims and overtones, the only thing that makes it “secular” is that they aren’t stopping to sing worship songs, or listening to a sermon.
Furthermore, it doesn’t just boil down to restrooms. Discrimination can still occur just by religious people speaking about their religious ideals, and as Eugene Volokh of the Washington Post says, this could qualify as discrimination via a hostile environment.
Under Massachusetts law, refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronoun would be punishable discrimination. (At least this is true of “he” or “she” — I saw nothing in the document about “ze” and other newly made-up pronouns.) The Massachusetts document I linked to makes that clear in the employment context, and it also makes clear that the antidiscrimination law rules apply to places of public accommodations (including churches, in “secular events” “open to the public”) just as much as to employment.
Indeed, a church might be liable even for statements by its congregants (and not just its volunteers, who are acting as agents) that are critical of transgender people. Tolerating such remarks is generally seen as allowing a “hostile environment,” and therefore “harassment.” Indeed, the statement I linked to 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” (emphasis added). But that’s not just encouragement; it simply reflects hostile work environment harassment law, which has long required employers to restrict derogatory speech by clients, to prevent “hostile environments.” See 29 C.F.R. § 1604.11. The same logic applies for places of public accommodation, which Massachusetts says can include churches.
So a church employee who speaks honestly about transgendered people, or – it appears – a person at these functions who disagrees with the transgender belief system, and is not immediately removed, could cost the church a lot of money, and someone some jail time.
Let me reiterate. Someone can go to jail for speaking their mind about transgendered people at a church.
These rules kick in on October 1st, and according to MassEquality.org, it’s a system that can’t get here soon enough. According to this LGBT activist organization, it “protects” all people in Massachusetts, and is “fair.”
The guidelines are clear, fair, and protect the safety of all people in Massachusetts. Finally, transgender people have safe and secure access to all public accommodations in the state. We look forward to October 1 when the law goes into full effect and we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the public safety of all people will be protected.”
The “safety of everyone will be protected” line may be one of the most blatant lies ever told about a law. If just saying words can send you to jail, or break your wallet, then safety has gone right out the door. The LGBT activists don’t seem to be the least concerned about free speech, and how those who attempt to practice it are not at all safe. The only thing being kept safe here are the feelings of transgendered individuals at the expense of everyone else’s freedom.
Whether this law will survive Supreme Court scrutiny remains to be seen, but if the 1st Amendment is clear on anything, it’s that “guidance” like this doesn’t fly in this country.
Recently, the transgender community has been engaged in battles that involve forcing transgenderism’s ideals on people, including a recent case where a young man claiming to a be a woman committed lewd acts, and bulled girls in their locker room, and the school completely ignored it. The LGBT activist community even went so far as to paint the teen boy as the good guy in the situation, and the girls – who were brought to tears – as bigots.