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Faith-Based Kansas City Shelter Won't Accept Same-Sex Married Couples

Faith-Based Kansas City Shelter Won't Accept Same-Sex Married Couples

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The head of City Union Mission says the shelter will not house same-sex couples together, even if they are able to legally marry in Kansas and Missouri.

As if anti-LGBT bakers didn't leave a sour enough taste in your mouth, even housing for the homeless comes with a bitter dose of discrimination, at least in Kansas City.

The executive director of City Union Mission, which operates emergency shelters, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter won't house same-sex couples together even if marriage equality becomes the law in both Kansas and Missouri.

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

Kansas City crosses the state line, although the organization's office address is in Missouri. It and Kansas are both now in marriage equality limbo. There have been favorable court rulings for marriage equality in both states, but in Missouri, same-sex couples have begun marrying in St. Louis only while another case is under consideration, and in Kansas, some but not all counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The head of the Topeka Rescue Mission said his organization doesn't yet have a policy about married same-sex couples; representatives for other shelters -- including the Salvation Army, which doesn't have a sterling reputation regarding LGBT-friendliness -- said that they do not discriminate.

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