The ACLU is denouncing a policy change made by the Trump administration’s Housing and Urban Development Administration which empowers homeless shelters to dictate their own policies regarding single-sex facilities and transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced the change in a statement on Wednesday, explaining that “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,” according to The Blaze.
While many believe that it is important for shelters to be able to provide safe, single-sex spaces for women, the ACLU argues that this will endanger trans people, pointing to the ongoing pandemic and high unemployment.
“Trump is proposing a rule allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away trans and gender non-conforming people — in the midst of the highest unemployment rates our country has seen in decades,” they tweeted in a statement.
BREAKING: Trump is proposing a rule allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away trans and gender non-conforming people — in the midst of the highest unemployment rates our country has seen in decades.
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 1, 2020
“Ben Carson, where exactly should Black and Brown trans women — who face extraordinarily high rates of unemployment and homelessness at any time, let alone during an economic crisis — go after being turned away from shelters? Shelters funded by taxpayers should be open to ALL,” the ACLU continued in a second tweet.
“In a week where 3 Black trans women have been murdered, the federal government is pushing more people into the street. This is a dangerous proposal that will embolden violence against transgender people,” a third tweet concluded.
Carson, however, explained that the local shelter operators are in the best position to decide how to serve their local communities and which policies are the most appropriate.
“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 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.”
As The Blaze notes, “The fight between women’s shelters and transgender activists has a rancorous history. Shelter operators argue that they need to protect vulnerable women, while trans activists are furious at policies that do not grant full equality of transgender women to biological women.”
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