City officials are going after a women’s shelter in Anchorage after the Christian non-profit refuge twice denied admission to a transgender woman.
In January last year, transgender woman, Samantha Coyle reportedly filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, alleging Downtown Hope Center discriminated against him based on his gender.
“The gentleman came in. It was after hours for admitting anyone,” lawyer David Cortman of the Alliance Defending Freedom told KTUU. “He was inebriated. He was injured. He had just come from a fight where he was kicked out of another shelter.”
The women’s shelter sent Coyle to a nearby hospital that night. The following day, Coyle returned again outside of intake hours and was denied entry. Not just because he was there at the wrong time, but because the shelter’s primary purpose is to take care of the vulnerable women already under their care.
“Some of the women have said to the shelter, if you allow biological men to sleep right next to us at night, to disrobe and change right next to us at night, we’ll brave the cold,” Cortman said.
“This is for the women they are protecting,” he added. “There are other shelters where this gentleman can go. And this one happens to be a women’s only shelter and that I think is a great balance.”
The Hope Center told KTUU it will continue to provide meals and day services to Coyle should he seek then, however, he will not be permitted to stay overnight with the other women.