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Religious Liberty Win: Mass. Backs Off Gender Identity Law That Could Have Jailed Pastors


The state of Massachusetts has backed off a regulation that could have landed pastors in jail for operating church functions according to their faith.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the non-profit legal organization representing four churches who sued the state over the controversial regulations announced the victory Monday, after the churches agreed to drop the lawsuit.

“No church should fear government punishment simply for serving its community consistently with its faith,” ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb said in a press release.

As The Stream previously reported, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination released in September an updated Gender Identity Guidance that declared, “places of public accommodation may not discriminate against, or restrict a person from services because of that person’s gender identity.”

That meant during certain church events and activities, church leaders would have been forced to allow a biological man to use women’s restrooms or other facilities if he claimed to identify as a woman, regardless of the church’s religious beliefs regarding gender.

Specifically, the Gender Identity Guidance originally stated that “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 public.”

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