Homeless shelters for women will now be able to protect women from sharing intimate spaces with biological men who “identify” as women.
A proposed Housing and Urban Development rule would allow homeless shelters that receive federal funding to use biological sex to determine shelter placement, not gender identity.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD-funded housing services can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but the new rule “allows shelter providers that lawfully operate as single-sex or sex-segregated facilities to voluntarily establish a policy that will govern admissions determinations for situations when an individual’s gender identity does not match their biological sex.”
Each shelter’s policy is required to be consistent with state and local law, must not discriminate based on sexual orientation or transgender status, and may incorporate practical considerations of shelter providers that often operate in difficult conditions. The proposed rule modifications also better accommodate religious beliefs of shelter providers. For example, such policies could be based on biological sex, sex as identified on official government identification, or the current rule’s mandate of self-identified gender identity.
“This important update will empower shelter providers to set policies that align with their missions, like safeguarding victims of domestic violence or human trafficking,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Mission-focused shelter operators play a vital and compassionate role in communities across America. The Federal Government should empower them, not mandate a single approach that overrides local law and concerns. HUD also wants to encourage their participation in HUD programs. That’s exactly what we are doing with this rule change.”
The ACLU predictably cried foul over the new proposed rule, claiming that Trump will let homeless shelters “turn away” transgender and “gender non-conforming” from shelters and leave them on the streets, but the rule does no such thing. Single-sex shelters must also provide people they do not accommodate with information on other local shelters that can meet their needs. According to HUD, if a shelter elects to accommodate people based on gender identity, those not comfortable sharing intimate spaces with people not of the same biological sex “must be provided a referral to a facility whose policy is based on biological sex.” The Obama-era rule instructed shelters to disregard the complaints of other residents. Under the Obama rules, if a woman was in the shelter to escape an abusive relationship with a man, or had just been raped, she would be forced to sleep alongside and share intimate spaces with biological men, even if it made her uncomfortable.
This sounds like a very well-balanced rule designed to protect the safety and dignity of everyone, and allows faith-based shelters to operate in accordance with their faith. But, of course, the left-wing media didn’t see it that way.
The Washington Post claimed the rule would “hurt” transgender “women,” otherwise known as men wanting to be housed in a women’s shelter. Mic.com called the rule “transphobic.” Vox opined that the proposed “anti-trans” rule would “let homeless shelters judge who’s a woman.”
The proposed rule from the Trump administration protects women. Anyone willing to force traumatized women to share sleeping areas and other intimate spaces with men to appease a political agenda is the one doing harm. This Obama policy has taken too long to be reversed.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis