The United States Court of Appeals has dismissed the federal lawsuit the College of the Ozarks filed more than a year ago against President Joe Biden to ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. gender identity.
The appeal ruling, filed July 27, upheld a federal judge’s May 2021 ruling that denied the college’s request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injection against the ban.
“The district court found that the college lacked standing to establish a case or controversy and dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction,” the appeals court wrote in its ruling. “The college appeals and we affirm.”
In April 2021, the private Taney County college sued Biden, some federal officials, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, with support from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The college and the ADF argued that the directive compelled religious schools to violate their views by opening up male or female residence halls — including dormitories and restrooms — to members of the opposite sex.
The News-Leader contacted the alliance on Monday to inquire about next steps.
“Alliance Defending Freedom is considering all legal options,” lead attorney Matt Bowman said. “While we are disappointed with the decision, we will continue to uphold the freedom of the College of the Ozark to operate and educate students in accordance with its denominational mission.”
Previously:Judge rejects College of the Ozarks’ request to circumvent anti-discrimination housing rule
Bowman added, “And the College of the Ozarks will continue to follow that mission and serve its students well.”
The college teaches that biological sex is a person’s “god-given objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of ‘gender identity'”.
Its code of conduct also states that “the purpose of sexual relations is the procreation of human life and the unification and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love, objectives which are to be achieved only by heterosexual relations in the wedding”.
Point Lookout College maintains single-sex residence halls and students are not permitted to visit the living areas of the opposite sex. The college prohibits “biological males who identify” as female from living in female dorms, and vice versa.
Previously:College of the Ozarks sues Biden over order banning discrimination based on gender identity
In the lawsuit, the college explained that it teaches that all people should be treated with dignity, grace and love “regardless of their sexual beliefs.”
As part of the appeal, many entities have signed on to support the college, including Missouri Baptist University located in Creve Coeur, Southwest Baptist University, and the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
In the appeal decision, the court wrote that the college’s situation is “too speculative” to establish standing.
The court notes that HUD failed to enforce the sex discrimination prohibitions of fair housing laws against a college whose housing policies were exempted under Title IX. They are exempted if the application of the prohibition “would not be in accordance with the religious principles” of the educational establishment.
College room and board costs $8,200 per year. Students working on campus can graduate debt-free.
Claudette Riley is the News-Leader’s educational reporter. Email news tips to [email protected]