Press Release

Private: Media Advisory: 9th Circuit to hear lawsuit against Christian homeless shelter

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

Oral argument in Intermountain Fair Housing Council v. Boise Rescue Mission Ministries at 2:30PM at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

What: Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear argument in Intermountain Fair Housing Council v. Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, a lawsuit by a fair housing group against a Christian homeless shelter in Boise, Idaho.

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:30 p.m. PST

Where: James R. Browning US Courthouse

United States Court of Appeals – 9th Circuit

95 Seventh Street

Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor

San Francisco, California 94103


Who: Luke Goodrich, Deputy National Litigation Director for Becket, will argue the case for the Christian homeless shelter. The question at the heart of this case is whether Christian homeless shelters are allowed to minister to the poor and needy in accordance with their religious beliefs.


Why: The Boise Rescue Mission offers a variety of charitable programs in Boise, Idaho, including a homeless shelter for men, and a Christian discipleship program for women recovering from substance abuse. A federally-funded fair housing group in Idaho slapped the Rescue Mission with a Fair Housing Act lawsuit. The fair housing group claims that the Rescue Mission is violating federal civil rights laws by holding chapel services at the homeless shelter and by requiring members of the Christian discipleship program to participate in religious activities.

The Rescue Mission does not receive any government funds, and participation in its ministries is completely voluntary and free of charge, so the district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety. The case is now on appeal at the Ninth Circuit.


For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket  attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at  or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. For over 20 years, it has defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more).”