Massachusetts Forces LGBT 'Accommodation' Rules on Churches

On October 1, 2016, the nation's strictest LGBT non-discrimination laws will come into effect in Massachusetts. According to the "Gender Identity Guidance" released by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) last week, even churches must refer to transgender individuals by their chosen "gender identity," ignoring their biological sex. This effectively means churches must acknowledge transgender ideology or practice their doctrine on human sexuality in secret — putting Christianity in the closet.

The guidance specifically mentions churches as falling under the "public accommodation" restrictions against "discrimination" on the basis of gender identity: "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," the MCAD explained.

The restrictions are massive. Any "public accommodation" must allow patrons to use men's or women's restrooms — and locker rooms and changing rooms — "consistent with their gender identity." Such places must also "use names, pronouns, and gender-related terms appropriate to employee's stated gender identity in communications with employee and with others."

These are not small asks for churches, Christian schools, and other organizations which operate on Christian principles.

Genesis 1 explicitly states that God created human beings in his own image, "male and female he created them." Jesus Christ also quotes this passage in a way he does not quote the rest of Genesis 1. In Mark 10:6, he answers the Pharisees on divorce saying, "from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female,'" and in Matthew 19:4, he says the same: "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female.'"

In Christian theology, biological sex is a gift from God, meant for marriage, which itself is a weak symbol of the love between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:31). Human sexuality is not a mistake to be corrected, and when God created men and women, he declared creation "very good," as opposed to merely "good" before their creation (Genesis 1:31).

Transgender ideology flatly denies all of this. Contrary to many scientific studies (pediatricians have even called youth transgenderism "child abuse"), it argues that people who identify with the gender opposite their biological sex should be encouraged to do so, even to the extent of undergoing "gender re-affirming surgery." This is a fancy name for bodily mutilation which causes even more confusion than before. But don't listen to me, take it from the horror stories of these de-transitioning women.

Now this ideology is entrenched in Massachusetts law, which "defines 'gender identity' as 'a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.'" The law entrenches gender identity as a protected status, and extends protection to all public accommodations, including churches.

Next Page: What this means for churches, Christian schools, and other faith-based organizations.