Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide
The issues surrounding “gender identity” or “transgenderism” are still new for many of us, but they have already deeply affected churches, families, and business owners here in the Commonwealth. We are, therefore, very grateful for the tremendous work done by our national partners at Family Policy Alliance in creating this Parents Resource Guide, which I strongly encourage you to read, share with your priest or pastor, and put into the hands of your local school administrators. Please download your copy here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to order printed copies. Along with this national resource, below we have shared information on these issues that is specific to our state. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions related to this issue or are looking for help.
Andrew Beckwith, MFI President
Massachusetts Law on Gender Identity
The Massachusetts legislature passed a law creating the legally protected category of “gender identity,” and placed it alongside race, color, religious creed, national original, and sexual orientation in the state non-discrimination laws related to employment, education, and housing. The legal definition of “gender identity” in Massachusetts reads as follows:
“Gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose. M.G.L Chapter 4, § 7, para 59.
2016: The category of gender identity was added to state public accommodations law. This law was termed the “Bathroom Law” because it resulted in requiring businesses, fitness centers, and homeless shelters to allow men who identified as women into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, and sleeping areas.
Thanks to a lawsuit filed by four local churches, the MA Attorney General clarified that the gender identity law does NOT apply to houses of worship.
2019: The state legislature banned licenses health professionals from providing any type of therapy, even counseling, to help children under 18 address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. This means, for example, that in Massachusetts, it is now perfectly legal to inject a girl with testosterone, so she grows a beard and can then have her breasts removed (in fact, there are gender clinics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center that advertise this on their websites), but counseling a girl to literally feel comfortable in her own body is against the law. At the legislative hearing in March, MFI was the only organization opposing the bill, but we were able to present testimony from a dozen individuals who benefited from talk-therapy that helped them explore underlying psychological issues and past traumas that manifested in unwanted same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria.
This Counseling Ban does not (yet) apply to pastors or other unlicensed counselors, and similar bans across the country are falling to legal challenges. If you need help finding the therapy you or your child needs on issues of sexual expression or gender identity, please contact us for a list of pro-family referrals.