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Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

May 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-transgender activists are up in arms this week as the Trump administration has unveiled a new rule that would ensure that federally funded homeless shelters can refuse to place gender-confused men in close quarters with women.

The proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) would guarantee that HUD-funded entities with “single-sex or sex-segregated facilities” such as restrooms, showers, and sleeping quarters may consider “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs,” and an “individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents” when determining what sex to categorize users as.

The new rule would be a reversal from Obama-era changes that forced such shelters to place “transgender” men claiming to be women with actual women, including abuse or assault victims, without regard to appearance, anatomy, or the “complaints of other shelter residents.”

HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson told the House Financial Services Committee that he favors greater “local jurisdictional control” in such matters, the Washington Post reports, and that “if you want to do something different about the definition of gender, that is a congressional duty.”

“Yesterday, I asked Secretary Carson directly if he was anticipating any changes to HUD’s Equal Access Rule and he said no,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) declared. “The announcement today that HUD will now allow anti-trans discrimination in shelters demonstrates that he either lied to Congress or has no idea what policies his agency is pursuing.” The HUD proposal maintains that the proposed rule doesn’t contradict the current policy of “ensuring that its programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“It completely guts the Equal Access Rule,” National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling said. “The Trump administration is, once again, targeting the most vulnerable trans people by empowering shelters to turn people away and deny them equal access to services.”

Terry Schilling, executive director of the conservative American Principles Project, had a different takeaway. “The Left has consistently made clear that they value ideology above privacy and safety, to the point of allowing biological men access to spaces set aside for vulnerable women,” he said. “This is exactly what the Obama rule did — and what the Democrats’ recently passed ‘Equality Act’ would mandate nationwide.

“Fortunately, President Trump has made protecting the rights of women, families, and people of faith a high priority of his administration, as this proposed rule illustrates, and we strongly commend him for doing so,” Schilling declared.

“Fifty-one percent of Americans are women. Less than one percent of Americans say they are transgender,” Breitbart’s Neil Munro notes. “The vast majority of men who say they are transgender are also biologically intact, and many seek to sleep with women.”

As LifeSiteNews covered when Obama handed down the previous rule change in 2016, the dangers of diluting sex-segregated facilities is not theoretical. In 2012, Christopher Hambrook assaulted multiple women at a Toronto shelter by claiming to be transgendered. “One of the guests at a rescue mission overheard someone on the street saying, ‘Dude, if you go down to the rescue mission and tell them you’re transgender, you can sleep in the women’s dorm and even shower with them,’” John Ashmen, president of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, told LifeSiteNews at the time.