Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has taken a series of steps to further blur the line between male and female and afford greater protections to those who identify as transgender, but one institution of higher learning is now pushing back.
As The Federalist reports, the Biden administration is facing a lawsuit from Hollister, Missouri-based College of the Ozarks over a Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) mandate requiring it and other recipients of federal funding to allow students of opposite genders to use the same dorm buildings, dorm rooms, and restroom facilities.
Back in February, the administration announced that it would “administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” a move that the group filing suit on behalf of the school – Alliance Defending Freedom – argues “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and assign them as females’ roomates,” as The Federalist further noted.
Ryan Bangert, an attorney with the advocacy group, decried the rule in an interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream, stating that biological women potentially impacted by the new requirements are likely to have their rights violated, stating, “We brought this lawsuit because the federal government shouldn’t be able to force young women to share their dorm rooms with males. It’s just that simple,” as BizPacReview reported.
Though the College of the Ozarks is a small, Christian school, Bangert pointed out that it still receives federal money by way of grants, student loan proceeds, and contracts, and is therefore subject to federal fair housing regulations. He further asserted that “even if the College of the Ozarks gave up every last penny of federal money that it receives, it would still be subject to this Fair Housing Act requirement that was imposed really in the dead of night by an administrative agency without any notice or comment to the public.”
During their discussion, Bream asked Bangert whether he really anticipates that the Biden administration will attempt enforcement action with regard to this rule, or if the college was simply using the lawsuit to make a broader political point. Bangert responded that “the letter that was issued by [HUD]…said specifically that enforcement actions could be taken based on complaints filed,” and that he is of the belief that violations would indeed result in sanctions.
Fellow Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Marie Blake joined Bangert in slamming the Biden administration rule, stating, “The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls’ dorms to males based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of ‘sex,’” as The Federalist noted.
College of the Ozarks president Dr. Jerry Davis placed the lawsuit in a broader political context, saying, “Religious freedom is under attack in America, and we won’t stand on the sidelines and watch. To threaten religious freedom is to threaten America itself.”
From his executive order facilitating required inclusion of biological males on women’s sports teams to the issuance of this rule prohibiting their exclusion from dwellings and restrooms designated for females, Biden has made it clear that his priority lies with appeasing the far-left fringe rather than safeguarding the rights and fair treatment for which women have spent decades fighting.