Anchorage official responds to transgender case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on lawsuit by a faith-based women’s shelter in Alaska that is seeking to block the city of Anchorage from requiring it to accept transgender women (all times local):
An attorney for the city of Anchorage says a local women’s shelter that wants to deny service to transgender women was premature in filing a motion in federal court Thursday to stop the city from enforcing its equal rights law.
Deputy Municipal Attorney Deitra Ennis represents the city and its Equal Rights Commission, which began an investigation after a transgender woman complained she was denied shelter at the Hope Center shelter.
Ennis says the commission’s investigation has not been concluded “due in large part to the noncooperation of the Hope Center.” The operator of the faith-based center filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its Equal Rights Commission in August.
Ennis says the commission had reached no decision or enforcement action before Thursday’s court motion, which was filed by lawyers for the conservative law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom.
Ennis says Thursday’s filing in federal court is premature, and so is the request for injunctive relief.
A faith-based Anchorage women’s shelter is suing to block the city from requiring it to accept transgender women.
Lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion in federal court Thursday, seeking an injunction stop the city from applying its gender identity law to the Hope Center shelter.
The conservative Christian law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona, says homeless shelters are exempt from the local law.
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 entry at the shelter.
Plaintiffs say the individual identified only as “Jessie Doe” showed up inebriated after hours and was not turned away because of gender.
City officials could not immediately be reached for comment.