By Zack Ford
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the hate group challenging LGBTQ protections all over the country, has a new client: the Downtown Soup Kitchen (“Hope Center”) in Anchorage, Alaska. Because the charity wants permission to refuse to shelter transgender women, ADF argues in a federal lawsuit that the city’s entire nondiscrimination law should be declared unconstitutional.
The suit was filed last month but only came to light in the past week, and ADF’s lack of publicity about the case is a relevant part of the case. On its face, it’s a response to a specific complaint of alleged discrimination, similar to the cases ADF has taken defending bakers, florists, and photographers who have been found in violation of nondiscrimination ordinances for not serving same-sex couples. But this particular response is actually a messy overreach mirroring ADF’s other pre-enforcement challenges that seek to override all LGBTQ protections in the name of “religious liberty.”
The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission currently has two complaints open against the Hope Center that it has not yet adjudicated. The first is a complaint filed by a transgender woman earlier this year, after she claimed having been twice refused shelter at the Hope Center. The shelter actually had perfectly plausible reasons for these two refusals. On the first occasion, the woman reportedly was drunk — a violation of the shelter’s admissions policy. On the second occasion the following day, she sought admission at a time when the shelter was closed.
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