The same conservative legal group that said it was okay for a baker to deny services to a gay couple is suing the city of Anchorage, Alaska over a Christian-run women’s shelter that wants to deny help to transgender clients.
Alliance Defending Freedom says Hope Center should have the ability to say no to trans women who seek their help because the other people there “shouldn’t be forced to sleep or disrobe in the same room as a man.”
Specifically, ADF is targeting a non-discrimination ordinance in Anchorage that led to city officials investigating the center after a trans person was turned away.
Alliance attorney Ryan Tucker said many women at the shelter are survivors of violence and allowing biological men would be highly traumatic for them. He told U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason that women have told shelter officials that if biological men are allowed to spend the night alongside them, “they would rather sleep in the woods,” even in extreme cold like the city has experienced this week with temperatures hovering around zero.
Well, that’s their problem, isn’t it?
Domestic violence survivors who are fleeing an abusive situation don’t often have many options when it comes to temporary housing. Trans people shouldn’t have to pay the price for their internalized prejudice.
To use their emotional fragility as an excuse to discriminate against trans people is a low blow.
To be fair, there were other relevant circumstances surrounding this case. Shelter officials say they didn’t actually reject a trans person; rather, the trans woman who showed up was “injured, inebriated, and past check-in time,” so they sent her to a local hospital. Even if they would have rejected a trans person, they didn’t in this case. Furthermore, they say, homeless shelters are exempt from the nondiscrimination ordinance.Rather than sticking to those talking points, though, ADF insists the shelter shouldn’t have to accommodate trans people.
As Anchorage was voting on whether or not to strike transgender people from the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, an attorney for the shelter told a local newspaper that they would never admit a “biological male” into the facility despite how the vote turned out.
The measure was defeated at the ballot box.
Does the shelter plan on doing mandatory genital inspections before allowing people in? Seems like a great way to ensure that no one shows up at their doors…
“There is simply no evidence that transgender people are more of a threat to anyone, whether that be in bathrooms, locker rooms, or homeless shelters,” David Dinielli, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told local news station KTUU.
“In fact, we know transgender people are among the most, if not the most likely to be targeted for abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse.”
That right there is the gospel truth. Trans people are far more likely to be hurt than hurt anyone else.
The Christians opposed to allowing them in shelters should dust off their bibles and revisit the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man from a despised tribe was found injured, only to be ignored by a priest, until a righteous man tended to his wounds — including putting him up in a hotel to get him off the streets.
Jesus’ entire point in telling that parable was to show how gritty loving your neighbor can be but also how important it was to his entire philosophy. These folks in Alaska clearly don’t get it.
(Image via Shutterstock)