Vulnerable women and families will be put at risk by new US Government guidelines on transsexuals, religious liberty groups have warned.
The new rule would force state-funded homeless shelters to allow transsexuals to use shelters for people of the sex with which they identify, rather than their biological sex.
This would include allowing men identifying as women entry into shelters for women who have suffered abuse or violence.
Gary Bauer, President of American Values, said the plans put women at risk of “abuse and worse” by men claiming to be women.
He also warned that because many homeless shelters are run by religious groups, “the proposed rules threaten religious liberty”.
Bauer was joined by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, in expressing concern.
Sprigg called the policy an “ideological attack upon common sense” that would harm “vulnerable women and children”.
The proposal, known as the Equal Access Rule, is expected to be finalised this month by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
President of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions John Ashmen expressed his concern that some men were already using gender identity in order to abuse women.
Ashmen said: “No-one is trying to make transgender people feel awkward, but we’re concerned about the well-being and safety of everyone in our rescue missions.”
In 2014, Christopher Hambrook was jailed indefinitely for abusing multiple women while posing as a woman in two shelters in Toronto.
Hambrook, who identified as female in order to gain access into women’s shelters, spied on woman as they showered, according to court documents.
Last month, a judge blocked a US Government ruling that would have forced schools to allow transsexual pupils to use the toilets, changing rooms and showers of their choosing.
Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom said the ruling will help schools protect the “privacy, safety and dignity” of their students.