February 2019 Church & State Magazine - February 2019

Wisconsin Court Says Transgender Policy Violates Church Rights

  Rob Boston

A court in Wisconsin has ruled that a city’s ordinance designed to protect transgender people infringes on the rights of houses of worship.

The city of De Pere approved the ordinance in 2017. It prohibits discrimination against people based on gender identity or expression. Five churches and a Christian radio station sued over it, reported the Green Bay Gazette.

In late December, Judge William Atkinson of the Brown County Circuit Court ruled for the churches, asserting that they are not public accommodations under the law and thus it does not apply to them.

City officials argued that the ordinance was never intended to apply to houses of worship, and that it contains exemptions for entities that are “distinctly private.”

De Pere City Attorney Judy Schmidt-Lehman said the city council would decide what to do after reviewing the court’s ruling.

BREAKING:

Supreme Court Overturns Abortion Rights; Americans United Readying Religious Freedom Litigation

“This Supreme Court abolished the constitutional right to abortion in an opinion that is a direct attack on the separation of church and state." —Rachel Laser, AU's CEO and President

Read our statement.