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ADF tells court that President Biden cannot order religious schools to house men in women's dorms

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing Wednesday

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in College of the Ozarks v. Biden

WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. CST, Wednesday, Nov. 17

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse, 400 E. 9th St., Kansas City; the public access number to listen to the oral argument live is available here (use the number for Kansas City, Missouri). To schedule an interview, contact ADF Director of Media Relations Elizabeth Ray at (202) 440-3767.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing College of the Ozarks will be available for media interviews Wednesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in the college’s lawsuit against the Biden administration.

The private Christian college is challenging a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that forces religious schools to violate their beliefs by opening their dormitories, including dorm rooms and shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex or face fines of up to six figures, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. The hearing concerns the college’s request for a preliminary injunction order that would halt enforcement of the HUD directive while the lawsuit moves forward.

“By redefining ‘sex’ in federal law to include gender identity, President Biden has grossly overreached his authority and is mandating that Christian colleges must allow boys into girls’ dorm rooms and showers, and vice versa,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman, who will argue before the court on behalf of the college. “College of the Ozarks should be free to follow the religious tradition on which it was founded. The government cannot strip a private, faith-based institution of its constitutionally protected freedoms because it disagrees with its views about marriage and biological sex. We hope the court will quickly agree and halt the government’s inappropriate and baseless order.”

The lawsuit, College of the Ozarks v. Biden, opposes the HUD directive and the executive order requiring it. The order, issued to all federal agencies, requires them to modify their policies on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The lawsuit explains that the HUD directive contradicts the historical interpretation of the Fair Housing Act, which confirms that “sex” means biological sex. The suit also argues that the agency violated procedural requirements by not allowing public notice and comment, and that the directive violates the constitutional right of College of the Ozarks and similar religious institutions to operate consistently with their religious beliefs.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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