Court Rules Alaska Women’s Shelter Can’t be Punished for Denying Access to Men Who Identify as Transgender

A federal court has given temporary protection to a faith-based women’s shelter in Alaska against being punished for denying access to a man who identifies as transgender.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska issued a preliminary injunction last Friday for the Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center of Anchorage, also known as the Downtown Hope Center, preventing the city of Anchorage from enforcing anti-discrimination laws against the nonprofit organization.

District Court Judge Sharon Gleason issued the injunction, believing that while preventing “discrimination against protected classes is clearly an important public interest” the local rules “do not appear to apply to Hope Center’s homeless shelter.”

“Therefore, enjoining the enforcement of those provisions against Hope Center’s homeless shelter will not significantly curtail the public interest,” Gleason said.

“Moreover, the provision of overnight living space for homeless persons furthers the public interest. Affidavits submitted by persons who have used Hope Center’s overnight living space support the conclusion that the public interest would be adversely affected if [Anchorage Municipal Code] §§ 5.20.020 and 5.20.050 were enforced against Hope Center.”

Kate Anderson, senior counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is helping to represent the Hope Center, celebrated the injunction.

“All Americans should be free to live out their faith and serve their neighbors—especially homeless women who have suffered sexual abuse—without being targeted or harassed by the government,” Anderson said Friday.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski