The ADF is defending The Hope Center
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian law firm, now represents The Hope Center, a Christian charity. The Hope Center refused to allow a homeless transgender person to stay the night in its shelter. The center has also stated it has barred transgender women from spending the night in its shelter for homeless women.
The Hope Center, also known as the Downtown Soup Kitchen, is a faith-centric soup kitchen and an occupational training center. It is also a shelter for homeless women. Individuals of both sexes can access the center during the day, but only females who were assigned the gender at birth can spend the night. All residents stay in a single big open room.
On January 11 the ADF has requested U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason to block Anchorage from compulsorily requiring The Hope Center to accept transgender women. This is a necessity as Alaska’s biggest city has a specific law which prohibits any kind of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The law firm has asked for a preliminary injunction slapped against the Equal Rights Commission and the city government. It said that not doing so will threaten the religious freedom of The Hope Center. David Cortman, ADF lawyer, said all Americans must have the freedom to serve their neighbors and live out their respective faiths without being harassed or battered by the government.
The City of Anchorage responded by requesting Judge Gleason to pause her decision-making on this specific case until the investigation by the Equal Rights Commission completes the Hope Center investigation. This charity is rumored to have refused to offer information regarding its public funding details. If this is given, it would help to find out whether The Hope Center is a public accommodation place which must compulsorily follow anti-discrimination laws in force in the metropolis. The investigation is presently on hold as the shelter has refused all pleas for cooperation.
Ryan Stuart, one assistant municipal attorney, pointed out there is no exemption in the rule for homeless shelters. In case there is one, it is not an obvious legal theory. The city is demanding the federal court should abstain from this case. Anchorage requested the court to enable the commission to complete its task.