Home / Politics / Bill seeks to bar companies from citing religious exemptions

Bill seeks to bar companies from citing religious exemptions

BOSTON (AP) - Lawmakers are weighing a invoice geared toward fighting firms from being in a position to declare religious exemptions from state anti-discrimination regulations for behavior that happens in Massachusetts.

The invoice is partly a response to the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court determination that enabled the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby chain to be exempt from a federal mandate to be offering contraceptives as a part of its worker well being care plans.

The invoice states that “the powers of a business corporation do not include assertion - based on the purported religious belief or moral conviction on the part of the corporation, its officers, or directors - of exemptions from, or claims or defenses against, federal or state law prohibiting discrimination.”

Supporters say Massachusetts already prohibits many types of discrimination in employment, housing, credit score, and public lodging on grounds that come with race, colour, religious creed, nationwide foundation, intercourse, gender id, sexual orientation, genetic data, incapacity, ancestry, or veteran standing.

“LGBTQ people across the commonwealth value the cornerstone of freedom of religion. It’s a core belief we all share,” Mason Dunn, Executive Director of Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition stated in a remark. “However, when faith and religion are used to hurt and discriminate, that freedom becomes a weapon against our community - and that’s not something we can allow here in Massachusetts.”

Supporters additionally level to some of the largest circumstances these days ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court - Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. At factor is whether or not a baker, citing his Christian religion, had the proper to refuse to make a cake for a homosexual couple’s wedding ceremony birthday party.

The invoice, subsidized through Democratic state Rep. Michael Day of Stoneham, additionally states that any international company licensed to do industry in Massachusetts can be topic to the similar “duties, restrictions, penalties, and liabilities now or later imposed on, a domestic corporation.”

Catholic Action League of Massachusetts Executive Director C.J. Doyle opposes the measure and stated the purpose of the invoice isn’t to save you discrimination, however as a substitute has “everything to do with coercing the consciences of Christians and enforcing homosexual ideology on the rest of society.”

“The same people who pleaded for tolerance and an end to discrimination when gay rights laws were being considered, now demand that Christians be punished, and if necessary, driven out of business if they refuse to service same-sex ‘marriage’ ceremonies,” Doyle wrote in an electronic mail to the Associated Press.

“If this legal thuggery succeeds, conscientious religious believers will be effectively excluded - which is to say, discriminated against, in entire professions - such as those of printers, photographers, bakers, florists, wedding planners, along with jobs and businesses in the hospitality industry,” he added.

Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, on the other hand, stated that Massachusetts has an important hobby in fighting discrimination thru its state non-discrimination regulations.

Wu stated the invoice “would work to ensure that corporations operating within Massachusetts cannot undermine these essential non-discrimination protections by asserting a religious exemption from our laws.”

The invoice has a dozen legislative co-sponsors, all Democrats.


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