Addressed whether state-supported shelters for domestic violence that do not admit adult men violate equal protection or other rights of men.
Legal Momentum joined an amicus brief in this case, in which a man who claimed to be a domestic violence victim brought an unsuccessful equal protection challenge to state funding for Los Angeles area women-only domestic violence shelters. Plaintiff Eldon Blumhorst brought this action against ten Los Angeles area battered women's shelters challenging public funding for battered women's shelters on an equal protection basis. He argued that women-only shelters violate California's civil rights law, which prevents organizations receiving state funding from engaging in sex discrimination, and claimed that the shelters should not be entitled to an exception in the civil rights statute for lawful programs that benefit women and minorities. Blumhorst's suit sought to open all state-funded domestic violence shelters to men.
The shelters argued that women-only shelters are lawful, practical and effective means of assisting abused women and children, and that they do not violate men's equal protection rights. Legal Momentum joined an amicus curiae brief prepared by the Queens' Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area, California Alliance Against Domestic Violence and several other California organizations in support of the shelters that addresses why it is important for women's physical and psychological well-being that they have available domestic violence shelters that do not permit adult men. In February 2005, the California Court of Appeal dismissed the case on the ground that, while Blumhorst was apparently a victim of domestic violence in the past, he did not have legal standing to bring his current case against the shelters because when he called them, he was not an actual victim of violence seeking services. His appeal was subsequently denied.