A homeless shelter for women called Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, is back in court after the city decided to target it for barring men from staying there.
A drunk and injured man came to the shelter, and the shelter called a taxi (and paid for it) to take him to the hospital. The man filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming the shelter wouldn’t let him stay because he’s a man. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit on the shelter’s behalf. A court issued a temporary injunction. The city dropped the complaint and agreed with the shelter to make the order permanent.
Now Anchorage has reneged on the agreement. From ADF:
But since the city’s first loss in federal court, the Anchorage Assembly has amended the city ordinance in an attempt to find a new way to target Downtown Hope Center and force it to let males sleep next to women who have been abused.
“All Americans should be free to live out their faith and serve their neighbors—especially homeless women who have suffered sexual abuse or domestic violence—without being targeted or harassed by the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker, director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries. “Downtown Hope Center is once again in court standing up for its religious beliefs. No woman—particularly not an abuse survivor—should be forced to sleep or disrobe next to a man.”
The Obama administration issued a final rule in 2016 to bar homeless shelters from discriminating on the basis of “gender identity.” That meant men pretending to be women could undress in front of and sleep next to women, some of whom might have fled domestic violence. Even feminists were concerned. They formed a coalition and asked U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to reverse the rule.
HUD under President Donald Trump reversed the rule, which meant shelters like Downtown Hope Center had the federal protection they needed to provide abused and homeless women a safe place. But the Biden administration reinstated the rule allowing men to sleep only feet away from these women.