BOSTON (Jul. 9)
Gov. John A. Volpe and Lt. Gov. Edward F. McLaughlin, Jr., were accused by a Jewish leader here today of “conspiring to smuggle” into State law an amended Sunday Blue Law measure which has been passed by the Legislature with “religious prejudice” against Sabbath-observing minorities, including Jews. Mr. McLaughlin signed the measure last week, making it effective.
The accusation was voiced by Rabbi Samuel J. Fox, vice-president of the Massachusetts Council of Rabbis, who is chairman of the Council’s social actions committee. According to Rabbi Fox, Gov. Volpe, who was out of the state, had the new bill “rushed” by the State Police, so that the measure could become law after Lt.Gov. McLaughlin signed it.
Calling for a state-wide referendum on a proposed amendment permitting Sabbath-observers to keep their businesses open Sunday if they close Saturdays, Rabbi Fox said efforts should be made first to get the Legislature to reverse itself. The Legislature killed an amendment favored by observant Jews and other Sabbatarians, thus discriminating against 250, 000 Jews and other Sabbatarians, Rabbi Fox declared.
Under the new law, which had been amended through 43 changes, various businesses like taverns are now allowed to open Sundays. However, “due to religious prejudice,” said Rabbi Fox, “Sabbatarians who close Saturdays because of religious belief” are “restricted to a four-and-a-half day livelihood. “