The College of The Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri has filed a lawsuit in federal district court on Thursday to challenge the Biden administration for an LGBT Executive Order filed in February.
The Executive Order issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development prohibits individuals and institutions from discriminating against LGBT students in federally funded housing. Because colleges are federally supported through student loans, grants, and other contracts, they are obliged to comply with fair housing laws.
However, the College of Ozarks argues that the Executive Order tramples on the college's religious beliefs when forced to let biological males join females in dorms and bathrooms.
Evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham took to Facebook to share the news and condemn the Biden administration for its "government overreach" and applauded the "boldness" of College Of The Ozarks President Dr. Jerry Davis for pushing forward with the lawsuit that opposes forcing Christian schools to let biological makes join females in dorms and bathrooms.
"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," Davis declared. "College of the Ozarks will not allow politicians to erode this essential American right or the ideals that shaped America's founding."
According to Forbes, the College Of The Ozarks and its 1,500 students are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit advocacy group for conservative legal causes whose headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona. In the Missouri college's lawsuit against the Biden administration, ADF hopes to "protect the school's ability to prevent transgender students from living in dormitories that align with those students' gender identity."
In 2018, the College Of The Ozarks was listed by Forbes as the 270th top college, with a 91% admissions yield higher than that of Harvard at 82%. Dubbed as the "Bible Belt Ivy'' and known as "Hard Work U," the college offers room and board for $7,900 a year. According to Springfield News-Leader, students who work on campus may also graduate free of debt.
While the lawsuit says that the College Of The Ozarks teaches its students that all individuals must be treated with dignity, grace, and love "whatever their sexual beliefs" and will allow students who have experienced same-sex attractions and relations to enroll in the school, the college argues that "sex as determined at birth is a person's God-given, objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of 'gender identity.'"
ADF Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake, speaking up for the College Of The Ozarks, said "The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls' dorms to males based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of 'sex,'"
"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. "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 lawsuit filed by the College Of The Ozarks that protests religious freedom rights names President Joe Biden, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and its two officials, Marcia Fudge and Jeanine Worden. The Missouri college is demanding a jury trial and seeks costs and attorney fees as stipulated in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Equal Access to Justice Act.