The Anchorage Downtown Hope Center – a faith-based women’s shelter – has filed another lawsuit in federal district court to prevent the city from forcing it to admit men who identify as females and let them sleep next to women who have endured sexual and physical abuse from men.

Filed on June 30, the suit also takes aim at efforts by the city to keep the Hope Center from communicating its religious beliefs on its website or through signs at the shelter.

“Downtown Hope Center serves everyone, and its overnight women’s shelter exists to provide a safe place for women, many of whom have suffered due to sex trafficking, rape, or domestic violence at the hands of men,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Kate Anderson.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a national non-profit legal organization that defends religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life. They have affiliate lawyers in all 50 states, including Alaska.

“Women deserve a place to sleep where they can feel secure,” Anderson said. “City officials have no business trying to force the center to violate its beliefs by demanding that the shelter allow biological men to sleep mere feet from vulnerable women. This is the second attempt by the city to force Downtown Hope Center to violate its religious beliefs to the detriment of the women it serves.”

A statement about the lawsuit posted on Alliance Defending Freedom’s website notes that in 2018, the shelter filed its first federal lawsuit against the city after the Hope Center referred an “inebriated and injured man to a hospital to get the care he needed and paid for his taxi ride there.”

The man, who claimed to be a woman, showed up at the shelter wearing a pink women’s night gown. He later filed a complaint with the city’s Equal Rights Commission, claiming that the women’s shelter refused to let him spend the night. The city, then under Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, opted to pursue the complaint against the Hope Center.

This spurred the ADF to file a lawsuit. The city ultimately dropped its complaint and was forced to pay the shelter $100,000 for legal fees.

Since that initial loss in federal court, the Anchorage Assembly amended the city ordinance last month in an attempt to find new ways to force the Hope Center into letting gender confused males sleep next to women who have been abused.

“All Americans should be free to live out their faith and serve their neighbors — especially homeless women who have suffered sexual abuse or domestic violence — without being targeted or harassed by the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker. “Downtown Hope Center is once again in court standing up for its religious beliefs. No woman — particularly not an abuse survivor—should be forced to sleep or disrobe next to a man.”

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, who just took office on July 1, was asked about what he thought of the lawsuit during a press conference on his first day as mayor. Bronson, who is a solid social conservative and presumably an ally of the Hope Center, said he was unaware of the lawsuit.

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Shelter sues Anchorage again to keep transgender males from sleeping with abused women

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    I agree with the Hope center on this one. Gender confused men do not belong in an abused women’s shelter. If said men are abused they either needs to be in a place for them or in a male only facility. Possibly a holding area that’s for confused men only. Possibly one end of a hall with a locked door for confused man’s safety from other
    normal men.

    These are my thoughts and again the city should not force women’s shelters to have men confused or not in them.

  • John J Otness says:

    They. are. not women. just stop this nonsense. The mentally deranged do need a place to go yes they do but not to be housed with the most. vulnerable. All an abused woman needs is to be assaulted by a confused sot fox who realizes he has the key to the chicken coop…. We all know this will be the outcome. I salute. these awesome people at. the shelter whom stood up to the tyranny. Ty for having a spine where most in the City have folded to this evil tide that is consuming society.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Good grief, transgender shelters can be opened for the gender dysphoric that need shelter. Have at it community enablers. It is beyond tragic these people (gender dysphoric) cannot get the help they really need and in their narcissism do not care about the needs of others or the havoc they wreck upon them. A shelter such as the Downtown Hope Center, runs on a shoe string budget likely with a staff spread thin. They do not need this. And organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom are champions to take on these cases as they are doing so pro Bono and we should be supporting them.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Not sure we are allowed to post links here but if anyone wants to check out the Alliance Defending Freedom organization and maybe consider donating here is a link –

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    There is one way the ladies can fix this problem…………………………”Blanket Party”.

  • Kathleen Lynn LaMantia says:

    Don’t Lay Down For Bad Laws. Stand Up For Hope!
    Anchorage has become so “enlightened” we are plunged into darkness. The inquisitors and the witch hunters of history have been reincarnated as city officials and their equality Stasi. They have devised new tests to see if you are stake-worthy. Do you cling to the traditional meaning of goodness and charity? Do you believe in common sense? Do you feel good laws should do no harm? If you answer “yes” well, toss a log on the fire.
    This Assembly has wrapped itself in the fashion of the uber-left and it is as horribly unbecoming as it is harmful. I am reminded of the G.K. Chesterton quote, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” There is an election coming and we need to seize that broom!
    Let’s encourage the Hope Center with tangible financial support because standing up for these women will cost the Hope Center not just legal costs but their day to day operating budget. Don’t Lay Down For Bad Laws. Stand Up For Hope!

  • Mo says:

    So, specifically who in the assembly? Lets get their names out here, as long as this is public information I clearly have a right to know as does every single anchorage resident.

  • Yvonne says:

    A man is a man no matter how he choose to dress . Don’t let them in a woman’s shelter . So wrong .

  • Vonda Sanders says:

    Keep them out of the womans shelter. Find a different place for them. This would not help these women that have been abused.

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