Anchorage, Alaska, Oct 1, 2019 / 12:30 pm
The city of Anchorage has dropped a complaint filed with the city’s Equal Rights Commission after a women’s shelter in the city refused to allow a biological man to stay the night, it was announced on Monday, Sept. 30.
The complaint was filed in 2018 after Downtown Hope Center, a faith-based women’s shelter, declined to let an “inebriated and injured” biological man who identified as a woman to spend the night. Instead, Downtown Hope Center sent the individual to a hospital and paid for a taxi there.
Later, the man filed a complaint against the shelter, which the city pursued.
Downtown Hope Center was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, who filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Anchorage on their behalf.
Many of the women who use the shelter overnight are survivors of domestic or sexual abuse. The center said it did not want to force vulnerable women to sleep next to a biological man, particularly one who was intoxicated. Downtown Hope Center is also a sober facility. The center serves food and provides services to everyone during the day, but is restricted to women at night.
Other shelters in Anchorage serve people of all genders. Earlier in the day, the same man who wished to sleep at Downtown Hope Center had been banned from one of these shelters for starting a fight.
“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 Kate Anderson.
“This is the right outcome. Downtown Hope Center serves everyone, but women deserve a safe place to stay overnight. No woman—particularly not an abuse survivor—should be forced to sleep or disrobe next to a man.”