College of the Ozarks Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Religious Freedom to Maintain Single-Sex Dorms and Restrooms

The College of the Ozarks in Missouri filed a lawsuit in 2021 challenging the Biden administration’s directive that would allow men pretending to be women to live in single-sex dorms and share bathrooms and shower spaces with women. The college also alleged that the administration failed to provide sufficient notice of the change for public comment.

Religious institutions are in litigation because the Biden administration redefined the word “sex” in non-discrimination provisions to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.” The government bolsters its position by citing the “conservative” U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County case, which interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bar employment discrimination against homosexuals and “transgendered” people.

We are born male and female, which is unchangeable. To deny this is to deny what the Bible teaches. Christian institutions have the First Amendment right to express and exercise their religious beliefs. The school appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which upheld the lower court’s decision that the school lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

The College of the Ozarks this week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case. The high court has recognized that religious institutions have a constitutional right to maintain their own religious identity and to engage in practices and policies that are consistent with their religious beliefs. This includes the ability to establish and enforce policies that are based on their religious beliefs about gender and sexuality.

Alliance Defending Freedom represents College of the Ozarks.

“If the 8th Circuit decision stands, College of the Ozarks could be forced to choose between violating its religious beliefs or risking intrusive federal investigations and significant enforcement penalties,” ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch said. “We hope the Supreme Court will take this case to halt the government’s inappropriate order targeting religious institutions and to respect the privacy, dignity, and safety of female students.”

Photo credit: Nan Fry (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

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