HUD Protects Women in Shelters

Jun 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Trump administration has proposed a rule that will help protect vulnerable women and children by allowing federally funded homeless shelters to consider a range of factors including biological sex in deciding whether to provide lodging to people. The rule will become final on July 22, 2019.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) rule would permit shelters that have facilities, like bathrooms and sleeping quarters separated by biological sex, to establish policy that considers “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with” before allowing accommodation or admission to the facility. 

The change was needed because the 2016 Equal Access Rule under the Obama administration mandates that federally funded single-sex homeless shelters admit residents based on their stated gender identity instead of their biological sex. This does not allow shelter providers to make decisions about potentially dangerous individuals who may intentionally misrepresent their gender for malicious reasons.

The rule will also provide flexibility for faith-based shelter providers, saying the current rule might discourage them from seeking HUD funding because of their religious beliefs.

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “I commend the Trump administration for protecting women and children with this new HUD rule. The current rule does not consider the practical concerns of shelter providers who serve vulnerable clients who are seeking refuge from violence and abusive relationships. Women and girls are entitled to privacy and protection from predators who ‘identify as females’ with the intent of committing sexual assault,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.

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