Christian homeless shelter refuses to house married same-sex couples together

The City Union Mission in Kansas City announced that even if same-sex marriage becomes legal in both Missouri and Kansas, it would not allow same-sex couples to cohabit in its family shelter, the Kansas City Star reports.

"We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards," executive director Dan Doty told the Star. "Our view is that it [same-sex marriage] is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together."

Doty acknowledged that he "knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question," and that he hopes the public understands "the can of worms this could open."

"Probably for the last three or four years this is something we have been concerned about, praying about, our board has been involved in,” Doty said. “We had an October board retreat where this was a very serious topic to talk about."

However, he added, the shelter wants "to stay true to our biblical convictions, yet we do love all people. We do shelter men who are gay, and lesbian women, and transgender people, although if their birth gender is male, we require them to dress that way if they are in our men’s shelter."

ThinkProgress noted that the City Union Mission does not receive any funding from the government, and is therefore not subject to city, state, or federal anti-discrimination ordinances.

Other groups, like the Salvation Army and the Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said that they do not discriminate against anyone seeking their services, because their mission is to help the homeless.

"Our values are Catholic, but the people who come to us aren’t necessarily Catholic, and we don’t ask them to affirm our beliefs," Catholic Charities' communications manager Vicki Timiney said.