The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a Christian college regarding a federal order that the college claims requires schools to house students based on gender identity instead of biological sex. The College of the Ozarks filed a lawsuit in April 2021, arguing that an executive order and a Housing and Urban Development directive could force the school to violate its beliefs by assigning biological men to women’s dorms and vice versa.
Under President Biden’s executive order, which requires the consideration of sexual orientation and gender identity in interpreting sex-discrimination aspects of federal laws, the College of the Ozarks could potentially face a sex-discrimination lawsuit if it denies a transgender student’s request to reside in the sex-segregated dormitory of their choice.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case means that a federal judge’s rejection of the college’s request to bypass the rule will stand. The college argued that it did not have the opportunity to comment on the order before its implementation. If the Biden administration were to initiate enforcement action against the school, it could potentially lead to a new case being filed.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal advocacy organization representing the college, expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision. Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel at ADF, stated that the Biden administration’s overreach and attempts to eliminate distinctions between males and females in the law should be challenged. She emphasized the importance of religious colleges being able to protect the young women who attend their institutions.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the College of the Ozarks remains committed to following its beliefs, according to Blake’s statement.