The Biden administration has been controversial for its recent attacks on religious freedom. It may be from revising policies or not passing laws related to the matter. College of the Ozarks, a private religious college in Missouri, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its policy of requiring men and women to live in separate dormitories, citing the protection of religious freedom.
The college, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, is one of many faith-based colleges and universities that maintain policies in adherence to their religious views on issues of sex and sexuality. The college's policy conflicts with the federal government's definition of "sex," which now includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and biological sex.
The college argues that the government cannot force schools to open women's dormitories, bedrooms, and showers to men and that its policy is constitutionally protected.
Religious Freedom in College of the Ozarks Being Attacked
According to the website of Alliance Defending Freedom, their attorneys who are representing the College of the Ozarks have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that prevents the college from suing the Biden administration for attempting to force the college to violate its religious beliefs.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a mandate mandating the college to allow individuals of the opposite sex access to its dorms, including dorm rooms and shared bathing areas, under penalty of heavy fines and penalties. The appeals court declined to overturn the instruction.
The college makes the case that it should be allowed to practice its religion openly and without interference from the state. According to ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch, the government cannot take away a private, faith-based institution's liberties that are guaranteed by the constitution just because it disagrees with that institution's beliefs regarding marriage and sexuality.
College of the Ozarks may have to decide between going against its religious convictions and risking federal probes and severe penalties if the 8th Circuit's ruling is upheld.
The story in the National Review states that in the recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on College of the Ozarks v. Biden, the court ruled 2-1 that the college must wait for government officials to take action against them for not complying with the government's order on gender identity or face penalties that could shut down the college.
The article argues that this ruling denies the college access to pre-enforcement challenges, which are crucial for civil-rights litigation, as it enables entities to challenge an unjust law without suffering the consequences of violating it. The article suggests that the Supreme Court should take up the case to stop the government's order, reaffirm the First Amendment's religious freedom, and protect female students' privacy, dignity, and safety.
Also Read: Religious Freedom Violations Tolerated In Nearly 50% Of All Countries: Report
The Fight of the College of the Ozarks Commended
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, has called a college's fight against a Biden administration policy a First Amendment issue for a religious institution. According to CBS News, Perkins said that although privacy for college women is a significant issue in this case, the fight is primarily about religious freedom.
The college, College of the Ozarks, is fighting a policy forcing them to allow males who identify as females into female dormitories and bathrooms. Perkins commended the college's leadership for standing up against the administration's "evil ideology" and urged all Americans to speak up against it.
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