State officials in Massachusetts have reversed an earlier ruling that churches are not exempt from a new policy requiring all public institutions to accommodate ‘transgender’ individuals.
Earlier this year the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
(MCAD) had ruled that churches are “places of public accommodation,”
and therefore subject to the policy, if they hold events that are open
to the public.
But after that ruling was challenged in a lawsuit by four
Protestant congregations, the state’s attorney general issued a ruling
that the law “does not apply to a religious organization if subjecting
the organization to the law would violate the organization’s First
The churches that had challenged the law dropped their lawsuit in
response to the new ruling.
Christiana Holcomb of the Alliance Defense
Fund, which had represented the churches, said: “We will continue to
monitor the situation in Massachusetts to make sure those freedoms
continue to be respected.”