College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, filed suit in federal court April 16 against the Biden administration, challenging a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that forces religious schools to open female dormitories and shower spaces to biological males who identify as transgender.
In January 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that states that “all persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.” The order also required all federal agencies—including HUD—to modify their policies on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD released its directive to enforce the order the following month.
Yet College of the Ozarks argues that Biden’s “anti-discrimination order” actually discriminates against the school for its Biblical beliefs about gender and sexuality.
“The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls’ dorms to males based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of ‘sex,’” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake. “Women shouldn’t be forced to share private spaces—including showers and dorm rooms—with males, and religious schools shouldn’t be punished simply because of their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Government overreach by the Biden administration continues to victimize women, girls and people of faith by gutting their legal protections, and it must be stopped.”
The lawsuit explains that the HUD directive contradicts the historical judicial interpretation of the Fair Housing Act, which confirms that “sex” means biological sex. The suit also argues that the directive exceeds the administration’s authority and violates the constitutionally protected freedom of College of the Ozarks and similar religious institutions to operate according to their religious beliefs.
“Religious freedom is under attack in America, and we won’t stand on the sidelines and watch,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis. “To threaten religious freedom is to threaten America itself. College of the Ozarks will not allow politicians to erode this essential American right or the ideals that shaped America’s founding.”
Above: Williams Memorial Chapel at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.
Photo: Dimitry Bobroff/Alamy Stock Photo