For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 11, 2016
Contact: Angela Dallara
Freedom Massachusetts statement in response to anti-transgender lawsuit
BOSTON — Today the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit alleging that Massachusetts’ transgender protections law infringes on protections for churches and people of faith, and seeking to create additional special exemptions from the law, above and beyond the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion for all Americans. Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination law was updated this year to include transgender people in public places and took effect October 1.
Kasey Suffredini and Mason Dunn, co-chairs of Freedom Massachusetts, the successful bipartisan campaign to pass the law, released the following statement:
“Religious freedom is rightly protected in Massachusetts and across the country. For decades in Massachusetts, churches have complied with nondiscrimination laws — and updating the law to include transgender people does nothing to take away protections from congregations, clergy, and people of faith to practice what they believe. Hundreds of faith leaders and communities spoke out in strong support of the transgender protections law this year, making clear that equal treatment does not infringe on religious freedom. This lawsuit is no more than a last-ditch scare tactic to single out transgender people for attack.”
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 is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people are treated fairly and equally under the law.