Shocking New Law Takes Effect in Massachusetts

In 2016, holding to biological truths in America might get you in legal hot water – religious liberty, freedom of speech, and common sense notwithstanding.

The Massachusetts State House in Boston.
The Massachusetts State House in Boston. (photo: “Fcb981”, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

On Saturday, a Massachusetts law that could throw pastors in jail for using biologically correct pronouns took effect.

But you wouldn’t know that from The Associated Press’ article on the matter. Quoting in part:

Advocates for transgender people in Massachusetts say they can no longer be legally discriminated against in public places.

A new law taking effect on Saturday bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations. Among other things, the statute allows transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the bill after several years of debate. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed it into law in July.

Mason Dunn, co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, a group that advocated for the new law, said Saturday that the protections represent a “shining moment” in Massachusetts’ legacy as an ‘inclusive, welcoming place.’

The group says Massachusetts is the 18th state to provide similar protections for transgender people.

So far, bad but not awful – a law that throws tolerance out the window in favor of state-sanctioned discrimination against business owners who disagree with the government on bathrooms and locker rooms being properly segregated by sex.

Reality is far worse, however. “Guidance” from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) outlines the real truth. Employment, housing, bathrooms, and locker rooms for “public accommodations” are now open to anyone claiming to be the opposite of their biological sex – even if there is no proof of such, in most circumstances.

Additionally, using wrong pronouns is punishable. Including for churches. From the “guidance”:

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.”

And in a footnote:

Violation of the law shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both…. In addition, the violator shall be liable to the aggrieved person for damages.”

I’m not spitballing here. One of the MCAD commissioners acknowledged the threat against pastors in comment to Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

I reached out to the Mass. Commission Against Discrimination and they told me Commissioner Sunila Thomas George said there’s really no need for alarm. “By and large, places of worship are not held to the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination statutes that deal with places of public accommodation,” she said. “We are not by any means saying that the anti-discrimination laws absolutely apply to them.”

Washington Post legal analyst Eugene Volokh has more, outlining how the law could threaten pastors if parishioners say biologically accurate things.

Remember the good old days, when LGBT activists wanted “tolerance?” That’s so 2007. In 2016, holding to biological truths in America can get you jailed – religious liberty, freedom of speech, and common sense notwithstanding.

It looks like Cardinal George’s prediction is coming true. Here’s praying that the Massachusetts Family Association, which told me it might have enough signatures to get a ballot question in front of voters in November, can overturn this atrocious law.