A federal judge has made a “first good step” to protecting a women’s shelter from housing biological men, says an attorney representing the shelter.
Alliance Defending Freedom is pleased that a judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the City of Anchorage, which means the Downtown Hope Center can continue its work pending a court trial next year.
"The case is not over,” says ADF attorney Kate Anderson, “but certainly this is a good first step to allow the Hope Center to continue to serve."
Downtown Hope Center operates as a soup kitchen and laundry/shower service for the homeless, and since 2015 the facility has welcomed women who enjoy an evening meal and a safe place to sleep.
That all changed on February 1, 2018, when a transgender woman --- a biological man --- who calls himself “Samantha Coyle” filed a complaint with the city after the women’s shelter turned him away.
Responding to the complaint, the center informed the city that Coyle showed up drunk and injured after fighting at another shelter that kicked him out. Hope Center got a taxi for Coyle and sent him to a hospital with the center paying for the ride. But the city pursued his complaint and Hope Center responded by filing suit with the help of ADF.
In addition to issuing the preliminary injunction, the federal judge denied the city's request to dismiss the lawsuit.
"Most of the women they serve have been abused," says Anderson. "There is a lot of sex trafficking, domestic violence, rape, other horrible things that these women have encountered.”
The federal trial is set for April of next year.