Legally Married Gay Couples May Starve And Freeze This Winter As Homophobic Homeless Shelter Refuses Service

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City Union Mission executive director Dan Doty

“City Union Mission offers a variety of services that help serve the poor and homeless men, women and youth in the Kansas City area lead happier, healthier and more spiritually fulfilling lives,” the organization’s website promises.

But there’s a catch. The organization’s mission only applies to men and women who aren’t “gay married.”

Just in time for winter, management at the privately-owned Christian homeless shelter has announced it will cease to offer food or shelter to legally married homeless same-sex couples.

“We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards,” executive director Dan Doty told the Kansas City Star. “Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

Unmarried gays, however, are still welcome.

“We want to stay true to our biblical convictions, yet we do love all people,” Doty said. “We do shelter men who are gay, and lesbian women, and transgender people.”

“Although,” he added, “if their birth gender is male, we require them to dress that way if they are in our men’s shelter.”

Doty said that he doesn’t give a shit if the decision upsets anyone, and that if legally married, homeless same-sex couples are cold and hungry this winter, they can seek refuge elsewhere. No skin off his back. There are a small handful of other shelters, not to mention plenty of bridges and underpasses, around the city from which they can choose.

A number of folks have taken to Facebook to show their support of City Union Mission’s decision to discriminate:

Interestingly, City Union Mission’s Facebook page doesn’t have a single negative comment, despite all the bad press it’s been receiving lately.

“Our view is that [same-sex marriage] is inappropriate,” Doty preached.

Know what else is inappropriate? Denying a starving person food and shelter in the dead of winter because of their marital status.

Related stories:

Homeless Shelter That Serves LGBT Youth in Financial Crisis

New Project Helps LGBT Homeless In San Francisco

STUDY: 40% Of Homeless Youth In Shelter System Are LGBT

Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • joseph

    Of the most ignorant un-christian attitudes…..GOD does not discriminate. My church does RITI during Winter for Men, we provides beds showers Homemade food and never ask anything personal about their lives, other than no smoking,no drugs in our church. These Men are so terrific they are always so grateful………RITI is ROOM IN THE INN…..

  • gaym50ish

    I can’t help but wonder if this organization receives any city, state or federal funding or grants. Anyone have a way to research this?

  • Dakotahgeo

    Unfortunately, this un-Christain acting christian institution will be way hurting for any donations from the majority of the population, taking this stand. Who would Jesus turn away? No one!
    Thank you, Joseph!

  • gaym50ish

    All the online references say they receive no government funding and are not a United Way agency, so I guess they can do as they please.

  • bjohnmasters

    Who would Jesus Hate. “We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards,” As someone who teaches at adult Sunday School class, I remember reading that standard in there somewhere…let’s see, was it Micah 6:8 in the Old Testament…no, that’s not it, it must have been there in the Great Commandment in Matthew. How did that go? Oh yeah, ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (and third is hate on gay people and let them freeze and go hungy, 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two (er, I mean three) commandments.”

    Yeah, I remember that now.

  • Large Marge

    There isn’t a single negative comment because they are deleting and banning anyone that criticizes their position on housing gay married couples. I’ve had multiple comments deleted myself.

    The only place people could then comment was on their ratings/reviews on their facebook page which they couldn’t edit/delete randomly, so they removed the entire ratings section from their page.

    This is why it matters:

    One critic is KC LEGAL, a metro nonprofit representing the LGBT community, which gave FOX 4 this statement:
    “We understand that City Union Mission is unwilling to allow same-sex families to stay together when receiving services provided in its family-style units, and that it is basing that decision on its values as a Christian organization. That decision makes all of us at Kansas City Lesbian, Gay & Allied Lawyers very sad. Recent statistics indicate that of the homeless youth in the United States, approximately 40% of them identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender). Thus, a good percentage of the people most in need of City Union Mission’s services are LGBT. Further, part of serving other people is serving them and their families regardless of our approval of them. If the people who need help are same-sex couples who happen to be married and homeless, they are each other’s family, period. While requiring these families to spend the night separately may seem like a minor matter, that is scary, traumatic, dehumanizing, and degrading. The message is simply one of judgment and disapproval. That is especially sad given that the population they are serving is already, in large part, a disenfranchised and powerless one.”

  • Suburban

    Is this a joke? Who brings a marriage license to a homeless shelter. How can they prove if 2 men are married. Will they turn away heterosexual couples that are married.

  • Suburban

    sorry, that AREN’T married.

  • LandStander

    This article is VERY misleading. The City Union Mission is not refusing services to anyone, gay or straight. They are not kicking gay people out. They are not refusing to accept gay people in their shelters.

    They are saying that if a gay couple or an unmarried straight couple come in, they must sleep in separate rooms.

    This is not much better, and they are still monsters… but the article is flat out lying to say they are “refused service”.

  • Adrian

    Oh look, they receive federal HUD funds as well as MO state funds. Funny HUD bans discrimination by regulation against sexual orientation and by law against familial status (including marital status). I wonder what their CPA and general counsel think about this?

  • enfilmigult

    @LandStander: You’re correct, what an irresponsibly sloppy way to report it. It’s not like you’d have to embellish to make them look bad either; forcing married couples to separate from each other if they want FOOD AND SHELTER is hideous.

    That said, it’s *almost* worth this ugliness just for an anti-gay church to say “our church has never been more dedicated to supporting C.U.M. than it is today!”

  • Trippy

    This goes back to the whole Orwellian “religious liberty” argument the right wing is now using. What they really mean is “freedom to discriminate because Jesus.” He’s just offering version number 1,398 and hoping no one notices.

  • DuMaurier

    @Trippy: Not to be contrary, but aside from the fact that, as others pointed out, the Mission does not turn away gay couples but does separate them over night, I do think this IS an example of religious liberty. That doesn’t make it “right”, but the whole essence of freedom is the right to be wrong; we should be fighting legally permitted discrimination in employment, business and actual housing, not wasting time protesting some non-profit organization’s internal policies that, given its ideology, can hardly come as a surprise to anyone.

  • jwtraveler

    Christian Charity is so heart-warming! Tell HRC: Gay men and women can not live by marriage alone; they need homes and jobs, too. How about turning some of that gay marriage money to housing and employment rights so gay couples can live after marriage.

  • DarkZephyr

    Is it lost on them that the acronym for their name is “cum”? I had to laugh when that one congregation posted “Our Church has never been more supportive of C.U.M than it is today!”

    @LandStander: @enfilmigult: I have to wonder if you two read the whole article. The article quotes the bigoted Doty as saying exactly what you two are claiming is missing from tge piece.

  • Harley

    Yes, and Joseph and a very pregnant Mary were turned away until they found shelter in a barn with barnyard animals. Sounds Christian to me.

  • Trippy

    Jesus must be so proud.

  • GayEGO

    Well, in over 50 years I have not known any gays on the streets but if there were any before 2004, they weren’t married. Now that marriage equality is advancing across our country, I am sure there will be several choices other than this place for LGBTQIs to go.

  • Saint Law

    @GayEGO: No runaway teens rejected by their parents? HIV positive men ruined through medical costs? Gay men and lesbians with mental health problems?


  • Saint Law

    @GayEGO: Oh and especially pertininant to the article: no couples made homeless through having the banks foreclose or rent hikes?

  • LandStander

    @DarkZephyr: You must have misunderstood me. In the article he clearly points out that they still provide shelter to gays, lesbians, and transgender people. He says gay couples will not be housed TOGETHER, not refused service…

    You should read the article more carefully :-)

Comments are closed.