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Faith-based shelter fights to keep out transgender women

This Nov. 1, 2018, file photo shows the Hope Center women's shelter in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. A federal judge in Alaska will hear arguments Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in a lawsuit filed by the faith-based shelter against the city over a requirement that it accept transgender women. Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law firm, is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the city from applying its gender identity law to the Hope Center shelter. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen,File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on lawsuit filed by faith-based shelter against Alaska city in transgender case:

3:30 p.m.

Representatives of a faith-based Anchorage women's shelter asked a federal judge Friday to stop the city from applying its gender identity law requiring it to accept transgender women.

The conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom is seeking a preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit it filed against the city last year after a transgender woman complained she was denied entry at the Hope Center shelter.

Alliance attorney Ryan Tucker told U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason homeless shelters are exempt from the local law and that constitutional principles of religious freedom are at stake.

Ryan Stuart, an assistant municipal attorney, countered that the preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs was premature because an investigation by the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission had not been concluded, largely because of the shelter's noncooperation. The investigation is on hold.

At the end of the proceeding, Gleason said she will take the matter under advisement.

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9:45 a.m.

A federal judge in Alaska will hear arguments Friday in a lawsuit filed by a faith-based Anchorage women's shelter against the city over a requirement that it accept transgender women.

Conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the city from applying its gender identity law to the Hope Center shelter. Plaintiffs say homeless shelters are exempt from the local law.

The shelter operators filed a federal lawsuit against the city and its Equal Rights Commission in August, months after a transgender woman complained to the commission that she was denied entry at the shelter.

The city maintains the November injunction filing was premature because the commission's investigation had not been concluded, largely because of the shelter's noncooperation. The investigation is on hold.

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