Nearly 50 years of advances in women’s rights are being threatened.
And I’m not talking about the “pay gap.”
I’m talking about several instances where government agencies are threatening the safety, privacy, dignity, and equal opportunities for women and girls. Here are just a few examples.
Downtown Hope Center
Downtown Hope Center serves all people during the day, handing out 450-600 cups of soup every day and providing showers, clothing, laundry services, and job skills training for homeless men and women in Anchorage, Alaska. But its overnight shelter is open only to biological women. Because the Hope Center serves many women who have escaped domestic violence, rape, and sex trafficking, the shelter wants to make sure these women have a safe place to sleep. Now, the shelter is at the center of a lawsuit.
In 2018, a biological man dressed in a pink nightgown showed up at the shelter, intoxicated and injured. The shelter director sent the individual to the hospital to get needed care, even paying for the taxi. But soon after, a complaint was filed against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming the center had discriminated against this individual based on “gender identity.” Now, a federal court has stepped in to stop Anchorage, while the case continues, from twisting a law in order to force the Hope Center to admit biological men into its women’s shelter. It is clear that the commission wants to make an example of Downtown Hope Center – all at the expense of the women it serves.
When high school student Alexis Lightcap walked into the girls’ restroom at her high school, she reasonably expected to encounter only other girls. But upon entering, Alexis saw the reflection of a male student in the mirror. Her instincts took over, and she fled the restroom, reporting the incident to her teacher, who directed Alexis to her grade-level principal. When Alexis spoke with her principal, she found out that the school had quietly implemented a policy that allowed biological males who claim to identify as females to use the locker rooms and restrooms that match that gender identity. Now, Alexis is involved in a lawsuit against her school district to protect the privacy of girls and women who don’t want to share these private spaces with males.
When high school sprinter Selina Soule finished eighth at the Connecticut Indoor State Championships in Track & Field, it was a disappointment. She had finished one place away from qualifying for finals and two places away from qualifying for the New England Regional Championships – where she would have been able to compete in front of college scouts. But Selina wasn’t simply outrun by seven other girls. The first and second-place athletes in her race were biological males who claim to identify as women. Selina knew this wasn’t fair. Biological males are stronger and faster than girls. That’s why Selina and two other female athletes filed a complaint with the Department of Education, which recently agreed to investigate.
In each of these cases, the safety, privacy, and equal opportunities for women and girls has been compromised in order to push a political agenda.
And while this may sound concerning, there is hope.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case this fall that could help protect these rights for women and girls. On October 8, Alliance Defending Freedom will argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of our client R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.
In that case, Tom Rost, owner of Harris Funeral Homes, chose to part ways with a male funeral director who informed Tom of the director’s intent to begin dressing and presenting as a woman when serving grieving families at work. This funeral director had worked at Harris Funeral Homes for six years and had always abided by the sex-specific dress code.
Harris Funeral Homes has a professional code of conduct and dress code to ensure that the people it serves can focus on the grieving process and not on the funeral home and its employees.
Such a dress code is permitted under current law and is industry standard.
But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – a government agency made up of unelected officials – redefined “sex” in the law to mean “gender identity” to punish Harris Funeral Homes. And then it filed a lawsuit against the funeral home as well. The federal government eventually reversed course and now agrees with Tom and the funeral home, but the ACLU continues to push for “sex” to be redefined in federal law to mean “gender identity.”
A change like this would have major consequences for women and girls. If “sex” is redefined to mean “gender identity” in federal law, we would likely see massive confusion in employment law. And women’s safety, privacy, and even scholarship opportunities would be jeopardized like it is for Alexis, Selina, and the women of Downtown Hope Center.
Please join us in praying that the Supreme Court will uphold the law as it is written, protecting the rights of women and girls.