MassEquality Responds to U.S. Department of Justice Guidance on Religious Liberty

Oct 6, 2017

Contact: Deborah Shields, JD, MPH
Executive Director
Twitter: @massequality



BOSTON – October 6, 2017 – Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions released guidance instructing federal agencies and attorneys to protect religious liberty, opening the door to broad, religious-based exemptions from federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. In response, MassEquality’s Executive Director, Deborah Shields, JD, MPH, released the following statement:

“Today’s sweeping guidance from Attorney General Sessions has far-reaching consequences, and further erodes the separation of Church and State. It provides a broad, state-sanctioned license to discriminate as long as religious beliefs are cited as a reason, undermining the principles of fairness and equality before the law.

“This new guidance, coming on the heels of a Department of Justice announcement that it would no longer protect transgender Americans from workplace discrimination under Title VII, is a clear invitation to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The possibilities for widespread harm under this guidance are truly chilling.

“The attacks on our community coming from the Trump administration highlight the need for strong anti-discrimination protections on the state level. As the full impact of this guidance is felt in the days and weeks to come, MassEquality will do everything in our power to protect the rights of our community members, and will continue to fight for LGBTQ rights, equality and respect in Massachusetts and beyond.”



MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.