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Massachusetts Bill Protecting Religious Beliefs and Moral Convictions (H 1392)

This law was last updated on Feb 28, 2019


This law is Anti–LGBTQ

State

Massachusetts

Number

H 1392

Status

Proposed

Proposed

Feb 22, 2019

Topics

Anti-Transgender, Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

rewire.news

H 1392 would create government protections for “sincerely held” religious beliefs or moral convictions for people, religious organizations, and private associations. The bill would allow public and private businesses to legally refuse service to LGBTQ people based on the owner’s religious belief.

The bill states that the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction:

  • regarding the sex of the two individuals who may enter into a marriage; and
  • that male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

Protections for Religious Organizations

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against a religious organization on the basis that the organization:

  • Declines to solemnize a marriage, provide services, facilities, or goods or privileges for the purpose of a marriage ceremony.
  • Makes any employment-related decision based on a “sincerely held” religious belief;
  • Makes any decision concerning the sale, rental, occupancy of, or terms and conditions of occupying a dwelling or other housing under its control, based on a “sincerely held” religious belief.

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against a religious organization that advertises, provides or facilitates adoption or foster care, wholly or partially on the basis that such organization has provided or declined to provide any adoption or foster care service, or related service, due to their religious belief.

Protections for Individuals

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against any personwho the state grants custody of a foster or adoptive child, or who seeks from the state custody of a foster or adoptive child, wholly or partially on the basis that the person guides, instructs or raises a child, or intends to guide, instruct, or raise a child based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against any person on the basis that the person declines to participate in the provision of treatments, counseling, or surgeries related to sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning or declines to participate in the provision of psychological, counseling, or fertility services based upon a “sincerely held” religious belief or moral conviction.

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against any personon the basis that the person has provided or declined to provide goods and services relating to marriage-related ceremonies.

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against any personon the basis that the person establishes sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming, or concerning access to restrooms, spas, baths, showers, dressing rooms, locker rooms, or other intimate facilities or settings, based upon or in a manner consistent with a “sincerely held” religious belief or moral conviction.

The bill would prohibit the state government from taking disciplinary action against a state employee on the basis that such employee lawfully speaks or engages in expressive conduct based upon or in a manner consistent with a “sincerely held” religious belief or moral conviction.

The bill would allow any person working on behalf of the state government who has authority to authorize or license marriages to refuse to do so based upon or in a manner consistent with a “sincerely held” religious belief or moral conviction. This person would need to provide prior written notice of their refusal to the state registrar.

The bill would allow any person working on behalf of the state government who has authority to perform or solemnize marriages to refuse to do so based upon or in a manner consistent with a “sincerely held” religious belief or moral conviction. Any person making such recusal would need to provide prior written notice to the state.


Related Legislation

Nearly identical to Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (HB 1523)—the most sweeping anti-LGBTQ law in the country.


Latest Action

1/22/19 – Introduced; referred to Joint Judiciary Committee.


People

Primary Sponsor