A federal court rejected a Christian college’s request for an emergency injunction against an Executive Order issued under the Biden administration that would force entities under the Fair Housing Act to open bedrooms and bathrooms of student housing to members of the opposite sex so long as they self-identify.
The Order was one of Biden’s slew of Inauguration Day signings, Protecting and Combating Discrimination based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, in an attempt to reverse former President Donald Trump’s policy on LGBTQ issues.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUB) followed up with an order that granted alignment with the administration’s new definition of the word “sex.”
The College of the Ozarks, a private liberal arts college in Missouri, sued the Biden administration on April 15, arguing the administration was pressurizing religious schools to act against their freedom of belief that gender is God-given at the time of birth and forcing them to open female bedrooms to males and vice-versa under penalty of compensatory damages and huge penalties, including lawyers’ fees, if they did not comply.
Julie Blake, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom representing the College, argued that the Executive Order would impinge on Christians’ legal rights and tenants according to traditional Christian faith.
She said in a statement, “The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls’ dorms to males based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of ‘sex’,” adding that “the religious liberty law firm is representing the school in its legal fight and 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.”
Blake added that the “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 College of the Ozarks contended that the new order would pressure academies to permit students of different sexes into dorms and personal areas.
“For decades, the College has prohibited male students from living in female dormitories, and vice versa, regardless of whether those students identify with their biological sex. The College likewise separates intimate spaces such as showers and bathrooms in its dormitories,” the school’s lawsuit read.
However, Administration officials state the new order is necessary, saying civil rights laws protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination in the workplace.
The Biden administration’s argument boiled down to a Supreme Court ruling last year regarding Bostock v. Clayton County. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 says a staff member can not be terminated because of their sexual preferences since it would be a case of certain sexual Discrimination.
Blake argued that the high court’s ruling, presided over by Justice Gorsuch, noted that the case concentrated only on the employment environment and did not apply to gender skirmishes over access to college dressing rooms.
James Luh, a lawyer with the Justice Department, argued during the hearing that the College has to show there was a degree of injury from the EO, claiming the College has not suffered damages in order to justify a lawsuit, and that the College hadn’t mentioned actual grievance issues.
Serena M. Orloff, also from the Justice Department, argued the federal government’s memorandum keeps in mind that HUD will examine all cases of discrimination. She stated that leaving a hypothetical pupil who might encounter discrimination in residence due to sexual preference or gender out of this conflict is unfair.
“This is a purely a one-sided dispute. There is another perspective that is not represented here,” Orloff said.
The essence of the College’s debate was that the EO was released without a duration for notification and a mention called for under the Administrative Procedure Act. The College likewise asserted the Order breaches its constitutional rights.
The court hearing lasted 2 hours. Judge Roseann Ketchmark, an Obama appointee, issued a ruling refusing the College of the Ozarks a short-term restraining order and an initial charge, which would offer transitory protection for the College while its lawsuit is pending.
“After careful consideration of the law, the court denies the plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order and injunction.The court does find that the dispute is not justiciable.” she said from the bench.