By Jonathon Van Maren
With the near-universal acceptance of the premises of transgender ideology by the media, it is sometimes difficult to discern the truth of a story due to the Orwellian language used by the press to convey “news story.” Consider, for example, this recent headline in the Seattle Times: “Faith-based shelter fights to keep out transgender women.”
At first glance, you’d think that a women’s shelter was discriminating against women it didn’t like. Unless you’re familiar with the new gender lingo, you might not immediately recognize that when the media employs the phrase “transgender woman,” what they mean is a biological male identifying as a woman. That biological male may not have had any surgical revisions done, which means that he could arrive at a women’s shelter for women abused by men with a fully functioning penis and a beard to boot, and according to the new rules, he would have to be accepted as a woman based on his say-so.
This is not hyperbole, either. A victim of sexual abuse in Canada is filing a human rights complaint after being forced to share a room in a Toronto women’s shelter with a biological male sporting a beard, chest hair, and combat boots. That “transgender woman” discussed his ex-wife, his preference for Latina women, and the looks of the other women in the shelter. For the sexual assault victim who had sought a safe space in the shelter, this was understandably traumatizing.
Back to the Seattle Times:
A conservative Christian law firm that has pushed religious issues in multiple states urged a U.S. judge on Friday to block Alaska’s largest city from requiring a faith-based women’s shelter to accept transgender women. Alliance Defending Freedom has sued the city of Anchorage to stop it from applying a gender identity law to the Hope Center shelter, which denied entry to a transgender woman last year. The lawsuit says homeless shelters are exempt from the local law and that constitutional principles of privacy and religious freedom are at stake.
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.
Tucker said biological men are free to use the shelter during the day, adding there are other shelters in the city where men can sleep.
Ryan Stuart, an assistant municipal attorney, countered that the preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs was premature because an investigation by the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission had not been concluded, largely because of the shelter’s noncooperation. The investigation is on hold.
Stuart also said there is no homeless shelter exemption. If there is, he said, it is “a legal theory that cannot be described as obvious,” he said. The city wants the federal court to abstain from the case, saying the matter should be allowed to proceed to completion by the commission.
At the end of the proceeding, Gleason said she will take the matter under advisement.
The shelter operators filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its Equal Rights Commission in August, months after a transgender woman complained to the commission that she was denied housing at the shelter.
The plaintiffs maintain the person identified only as “Jessie Doe” showed up inebriated after hours in January 2018 and was not turned away because of gender, a point Tucker raised again in court Friday. The shelter officials even paid for a taxi to take her to a hospital for treatment of a forehead wound from fighting at another shelter, according to alliance attorneys.
The same individual showed up the following day and again was denied entry, according to the motion for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs say they want the federal court to make clear that the shelter is not violating the law.
Alliance Defending Freedom also represented a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In a limited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the baker, but it did not rule on the larger issue of whether businesses can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gays and lesbians.
It seems clear that the city would like to force the center to adhere to the latest LGBT orthodoxies, and thus the interference of the courts is an unwelcome intrusion for the ideologues. Alliance Defending Freedom has an impressive record, and hopefully they will be able to inject some sanity into the situation on behalf of the vulnerable women who are watching their safe spaces sacrificed in the name of ideology.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.