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Christian homeless shelter will receive thousands in damages after turning away a trans woman

Lily Wakefield October 1, 2019
The Hope Center homeless shelter in Anchorage, Alaska

The Hope Center homeless shelter in Anchorage, Alaska.

A Christian homeless shelter in Alaska will receive $100,000 in damages after turning away a transgender woman who was living on the streets.

Trans woman Jessie Doe was turned away by the Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage in the middle of the Alaskan winter, and she later filed a discrimination complaint.

The Hope Center was investigated by the Anchorage Equal Right’s Commission because although Alaska has no state law protecting LGBT+ people from discrimination, the city of Anchorage has a civil rights ordinance that bans discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations.

But before a decision was made, the Hope Center filed its own complaint claiming that the fact that it was being investigated violated its religious freedom.

The Hope Center’s complaint was filed with the help of the hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.

The lawsuit argued that the shelter had the right to turn away homeless trans women because of the owners’ religious beliefs.

According to LGBTQ Nation, the city of Anchorage responded to the complaint by saying that it did not agree with the center’s interpretation of the Constitution, but they wanted to avoid litigation so they settled for $100,000.

The homeless shelter filed its complaint with the help of a hate group

Alliance Defending Freedom celebrated the result and senior counsel Kate Anderson said in a statement: “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.”

However others in the local Christian community disagreed with the decision. Reverend Matthew Schultz told KTUU: “Personally, I believe if one is to consider themselves a Christian — a person of faith — they have to extend their charitable actions to everybody, regardless of gender.”

 

More: Alliance Defending Freedom, Discrimination, hate group, homeless shelter, religious freedom, trans woman

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