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.