Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Mike Luckovich)

In other news, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that coronavirus infection rates among people age 15 to 24 have tripled over the past few months. This is before most schools reopen.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Kodak's deal with the Trump regime and how the deal was disclosed. There was a run on Kodak stock the day before the deal was officially announced.

Finally, 145 congressional Democrats have signed a letter calling on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to cancel the proposed rule change that would ban transgender women from using women's homeless shelters.

Secretary Ben Caron's response is predictably ridiculous.

In the letter, the Democrats challenge the Trump administration’s argument that the new rule reflects safety concerns or undue burdens for religious organizations that operate shelters. There’s no evidence that allowing transgender women to stay in women’s shelters puts others at risk, Democrats say, or that any religious organizations made any complaints under the Obama-era Equal Access Rule.

“The rule change is a political narrative in search of a problem,” said Pennsylvania Representative Mary Gay Scanlon during the call. “We know that there’s no data to support that transgender folks pose a danger in our homeless system.” [...]

Back in June, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that discrimination against people for their gender or sexual orientation is unconstitutional. Wexton and California Representative Maxine Waters highlighted the decision in a June 29 letter to Carson, saying that any change to the Equal Access Rule would run afoul of the court’s decision in Bostock.

Carson replied with a letter to say that there’s no conflict: Shelters are not considered housing under the Fair Housing Act, which means Bostock doesn’t apply. Instead, he writes, an individual’s sex is a relevant factor with regard to sex-segregated shelters, and shelter operators have an obligation to consider the needs of their program residents when admitting people. “Our proposed rule prohibits discrimination based on transgender status as such,” Carson writes. “Everyone deserves equal rights, but in ensuring such is received, we must consider the whole picture.”

Sasha Buchert, senior attorney at Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ civil rights group, says that HUD’s assessment doesn’t line up with the applicable case law. “There are at least two circuit courts that have held that shelters are considered dwellings under the Fair Housing Act, and therefore subject to that,” she says. “Their analysis is just wrong.”

"Everyone deserves equal rights, but..."

Trust me, most transgender women are afraid to even use a public restroom, much less a public shelter, because someone might yell at them. They wouldn't unless they have no other choice. This HUD rule only adds to stigma.