Churches drop lawsuit against state’s transgender law

Four Massachusetts churches Monday dropped a federal lawsuit contending that the state’s new transgender anti-discrimination law violates their First Amendment right to freely practice their religion.

In a statement, supporters of the churches said they withdrew the claim after it prompted state officials “to admit that the First Amendment protects a church’s freedom to operate consistently with its faith.”

But the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office said the church’s lawsuit was never necessary to begin with, and that they had only clarified existing law.

Enacted in July, the law bans discrimination against transgender people in “places of public accommodations,” including restaurants and malls, and allows transgender people to use bathrooms or changing rooms based on their gender identity.

Four Massachusetts churches Monday dropped a federal lawsuit contending that the state’s new transgender anti-discrimination law violates their First Amendment right to freely practice their religion.

In a statement, supporters of the churches said they withdrew the claim after it prompted state officials “to admit that the First Amendment protects a church’s freedom to operate consistently with its faith.”

But the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office said the church’s lawsuit was never necessary to begin with, and that they had only clarified existing law.

Enacted in July, the law bans discrimination against transgender people in “places of public accommodations,” including restaurants and malls, and allows transgender people to use bathrooms or changing rooms based on their gender identity.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/12/churches-drop-lawsuit-against-state-transgender-law/fZdVLtj1pOgBAbCLZg2eKI/story.html

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