New Transgender Laws and the Church
The social climate in this nation has drastically changed over the past 50 years. We have become as the people of Isaiah’s day who call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20). Our nation and our churches are now “doublespeak” experts. In government, tax increases are now considered as “revenue enhancements.” We now deem the poor as “fiscal underachievers,” while medical malpractice is not the cause of a patient’s death – it is a “diagnostic misadventure of high magnitude.” In many churches, sin is no longer sin, but simply a mistake which grace has already covered without any need of repentance.
All of this has led to the moral decline of our nation as outlined in chapter one of Romans. Homosexuality is no longer considered a lifestyle choice, but that which is genetically assigned at birth, while the transgender issue is determined solely upon how a person chooses to identify.
With the stroke of a pen, our President by-passed the legislative branch of government and instituted new laws to force homosexual and transgender lifestyles upon society and Christian-owned businesses, and if the Church continues with her head in the sand, it will be forced upon us.
How It Happened
After the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, our nation has only digressed further into debauchery that will soon affect Churches across America, if we do not immediately become proactive.
The Charlotte North Carolina City Council passed a city ordinance that demanded businesses allow individuals to use a bathroom, shower, or locker room based on the gender they identified with, rather than that which was assigned at birth. In rapid response, the State of North Carolina passed House Bill 2 which made it illegal for transgenders to use bathrooms based upon the gender of their choice.
Subsequently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made it illegal for employers to require their employees to use the bathroom associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. The EEOC’s announcement also prohibited employers from requiring transgender individuals to use separate, single stall bathrooms. The EEOC stated that they would interpret this as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
To further complicate matters the President issued an Executive Order through the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to public schools and educational institutions that receive federal funds regarding bathroom access for transgender students.
Under this directive, a school must allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms that is “consistent with their gender identity.” Schools that refuse to obey the order face the potential loss of federal funding and/or a civil rights lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Is the Church Next?
Although the above mentioned scenarios are not directed to the Church, we cannot afford to sit idly by and be blind-sided by further infringement. When a Christian-owned business is forced to violate their Christian principles, to serve those whom those principles offend, it will not be long before the same-sex marriage issues and transgender bathroom issues will become the focus of government’s infringement on the Churches in the USA.
Proactive Measures Needed Now
The first thing every Church should do is make sure their Bylaws are up to date. It is imperative that your Bylaws reflect what your Church believes, and that for which the Church assets, including facilities, may or may not be used. To make sure your by-laws are legally sound follow this link https://cmtc.americommerce.com/store/p/208-Church-Ministry-Bylaws-Manual.aspx and obtain the best Bylaws in the nation (our Bylaws Manual and software, cover all four legal forms of Church government). It is also wise to purchase the Eight Legal Documents https://cmtc.americommerce.com/store/p/225-Eight-Legal-Requirements-Documents-That-will-protect-your-ministry-Now.aspx that will amend Article 14 of the bylaws and protect the Church against any potential lawsuits.
Our Bylaws and Eight Legal Documents have the proper legal language to protect your religious belief regarding gender identity or expression.
Secondly, your Church may want to consider purchasing Religious Expression Liability Coverage. This insurance can be purchased from most Insurance Companies specializing in Church Liability Insurance. At about $100 per year for average coverage, this insurance is very affordable.
Lastly, every Pastor and all Church Leaders should attend the nearest Church Management Conference in the location nearest them. This conference will keep you abreast of those issues of importance that are a constant threat to your tenets of faith and expression of worship. You can visit us at www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0076 for registration information.
When it comes to the best interests of Churches in the USA, Chitwood & Chitwood is the greatest firm in the nation. When I make this claim, some say I am biased, but the statement that we are the best came recently from an IRS agent during a random audit on a Church which we represent. By the way, no violations were found during the audit and the Church was given a Compliance, clean bill of health – as always when we represent you.
Remember, for Chitwood & Chitwood this is “A Ministry – Not a Job!”