California Backs Off Christian Preschool — Will Pay Close to $200,000 to Settle Lawsuit

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) announced that California has settled a lawsuit instigated by its clients, Church of Compassion and Dayspring Christian Learning Center, for close to $200,000 in attorneys fees.

ADF reported that the state’s Child and Adult Food Care Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), kicked the center out of the program because of the owners’ religious beliefs about human sexuality.

As ADF noted, the Biden administration attempted to redefine the word “sex” in federal civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.” But Christian organizations oppose both and seek to operate in a way that is consistent with their faith.

Christian schools also want to protect the childrens’ privacy, safety, and sense of modesty and keep boys from entering girls’ restrooms and changing rooms

From ADF:

Dayspring serves all families and children, including several LGBT families who understand and appreciate the religious instruction their children receive at the preschool. While the church and preschool serve all families, they do not teach or promote all messages.

Yet government officials demanded that Church of Compassion and Dayspring fully comply with new “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” rules, including in their religious employment practices, or forfeit the right to receive public funds used to feed needy children.

The government decided to back off. As part of the settlement, the Child and Adult Food Care Program will issue guidance regarding a religious exemption from Title IX requirements.

In reality, however, the U.S. Congress has not amended Title IX to require the word “sex” to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.”

In a related case, the USDA backed off Grant Park Christian Academy in Florida in August 2022 after ADF filed a lawsuit claiming that the administration threatened to kick the school out a free or reduced lunch program for failing to comply with a mandate that attempted to redefine the word “sex” in federal law. The school was allowed to continue receiving federal funds while running the school according to its religious beliefs.

Photo credit: Alliance Defending Freedom

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