BOSTON — The anti-LGBT organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has withdrawn a lawsuit they filed in October that would have created an unprecedented, extraordinary exemption to Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination law, which was updated this year to protect transgender people in public places and took effect October 1. The lawsuit sought to exempt four plaintiff churches from complying with the state’s nondiscrimination law even when engaging in public, commercial and secular activities.
“We are pleased to see ADF withdraw this baseless lawsuit,” said Kasey Suffredini, co-chair of the Freedom Massachusetts Education Fund. “We all value the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom, and we are glad to see ADF acknowledge today that the Commonwealth’s long standing nondiscrimination laws, including the transgender protections update, does nothing to infringe on the freedom of congregations, clergy, and people of faith to practice their beliefs. Hundreds of faith leaders and communities spoke out in strong support of transgender protections this year, and we’ll continue to see that support increase as public understanding grows about what it means to be transgender.”
More than 350 faith leaders, churches, and congregations announced support for the transgender protections law over the past year. For a full list of these clergy and churches, visit http://www.freedommassachusetts.org/faith/. In April, more than 300 of these clergy and over 50 congregations participated in a Faith Weekend of Action in support of the transgender protections law, stating:
“We believe in treating others the way we’d like to be treated. … We should all be treated equally under the law. As Faith Leaders we are called to take a stand for those who face discrimination to repudiate acts of prejudice. The [transgender protections law] extends basic civil rights to those who too often live in fear of harm.”
Freedom Massachusetts Education Fund is the bipartisan campaign working to grow support for transgender equality in Massachusetts.