Supreme Court cripples US housing dept’s rule allowing women-only homeless shelters
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would enable homeless shelters to serve people based exclusively on their biological sex as opposed to their “gender identity.”
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the new rule, understanding “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology,” is currently “being circulated among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”
On Monday, however, the Supreme Court decided that the 1964 anti-discrimination Civil Rights Act should be reinterpreted to cover homosexuality and gender confusion. It is unclear at this point how the Supreme Court’s decision is going to affect HUD’s proposed rule.
The new rule, according to the Washington Post, “would scrap the Obama administration’s 2016 guidance” requiring homeless shelters to accept people claiming to be a member of the opposite sex. At the same time, the administration’s 2012 rule “barring federal housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity” would be kept in place.
Should HUD’s new rule be enforced as it is currently shown to legislators, operators of single-sex shelters could “determine an individual’s sex based on a good faith belief that an individual seeking access ... is not of the sex, as defined in the single sex facility’s policy, which the facility accommodates.”
However, no homeless shelter would be required to implement the new rule. Instead, they can choose to continue to admit men pretending to be women to a women’s shelter and vice versa.
Any person refused access to the shelter would not simply be sent away, but receive a recommendation to go to another shelter matching his actual sex.
Ben Carson, secretary of HUD, pointed out in 2019 that he “had heard from many women’s groups about the difficulty they were having with women’s shelters because sometimes men would claim to be women, and that HUD’s policy required the shelter to accept — without question — the word of whoever came in.”
“This made many of the women feel unsafe,” he added, “and one of the groups described a situation to me in which ‘big hairy men’ would come in and have to be accepted into the women’s shelter even though it made the women in the facility very uncomfortable.”
According to the Washington Post, the new HUD rule refers to a court case in Alaska, where several homeless women told shelter operators “that if biological men are allowed to spend the night alongside them, ‘they would rather sleep in the woods,’ even in extreme cold.”
Several people and organizations opposed to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to redefine the term “sex” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to mean not simply “male” and “female” as biological facts, but also “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” have pointed out that certain religious protections are left in place.
Michael Farris, the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, assured his readers on Facebook that Bostock v. Clayton County “does not decide issues of religious exemptions. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which I helped write, is fully applicable to all federal claims arising under this decision. The Court also said that it was not deciding privacy matters such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and women’s sports.”
On the other hand, various commentators indicated that natural law and traditional biblical morality have been on a slippery slope in the United States for decades.
Princeton University legal scholar Robert P. George predicted that Bostock v. Clayton County was going to have “far-reaching consequences, including the eventual destruction of all-women’s sports.”
Writing for the Conservative Review, senior editor Daniel Horowitz referred to an issue similar to that of single-sex homeless shelters.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, “lawsuits may be brought under the Fair Housing Act against colleges that have separate dorms for males and females. Also, female prisoners will be subjected to males living with them. Again, once sex is redefined, it is no longer limited to employment or animus-based discrimination.”