A Christian college filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration last week, alleging that a new federal policy violates the U.S. Constitution by forcing the school to open their dorms and shared shower spaces to students who identify as the opposite sex.
At issue is a directive by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The directive was issued in accordance with an LGBT-themed executive order by President Biden.
College of the Ozarks, a Christian school located in Springfield, Mo., sued the Biden administration on April 15, seeking to have the directive struck down. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the school.
The HUD directive, according to the lawsuit, requires the college to let biological males who identify as female to:
- live in residence halls reserved for biological females.
- be placed as roommates of biological females.
- use single-sex communal shower rooms reserved for biological females.
The directive, the suit says, has an “adverse effect” on the rights of the college’s students and employees, including “their privacy, religious, liberty, educational, professional, associational, and recreational interests.” If the college were to follow the direction, it would cause “extreme mental and emotional distress and anxiety” on students and employees, the suit says.
The lawsuit says the college “has long been guided by a Biblical worldview that all people should be treated with dignity, grace, and holy love, whatever their sexual beliefs.” Still, the college teaches that “sex as determined at birth, is a person’s God-given, objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of ‘gender identity,’ and it bases this teaching” on the Bible.
The Biden administration directive violates the college’s constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech, religion, association and assembly, the lawsuit says. The suit suggests the policy should have exemptions for schools with religious objections.
“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 ADF 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.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.