Supreme Court won't hear appeal from Christian college over transgender dorm rooms

 June 21, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from the College of the Ozarks to block a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) directive adding "gender identity" to the definition of "sex" in the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

"Because the college's faith teaches that sex is based on male-female biology, not gender identity, the college assigns its dorms, roommates, and intimate spaces by sex and communicates that policy to students," the college told the Supreme Court in its appeal.

Lower courts found that the college did not have standing to sue HUD because that agency did not attempt to enforce the act with the college. In other words, no one at the college was requesting a dorm room based on gender identity, and no legal action was being taken against the college.

Apparently, though, the college is nervous that something could happen, and is trying to be proactive by getting a ruling before it does.

The risk

Senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom representing the college John Bursch said the 8th Circuit ruling could force the college to "choose between violating its religious beliefs or risking intrusive federal investigations and significant enforcement penalties."

The rejection of the appeal "left this issue unresolved," ADF senior counsel Marie Blake said, adding that the group will "continue to confront government overreach."

"Though the high court chose not to review this case, we are hopeful it will soon take up related cases — both challenges to the broad overreach of the Biden administration and the government’s repeated attempts to remove from law any real distinctions between males and females," Blake said.

The addition of "gender identity" to the housing act was based in part on the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Biden administration said in May that adding "gender identity" to the housing act does not by itself require the college "or any other housing provider to do or refrain from doing anything."

No reason for the case--yet

If no students at the college push the envelope and ask for a dorm room  based on gender identity, the college can continue its existing policy.

It's a fight they may never need to have--or they might.

Increasingly, members of the LGBT community have deliberately targeted Christian organizations in an attempt to force them to bend to new dictates.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2018 is the most famous example of such activism, and it didn't go the way the LGBT activists wanted.

Not the end

In all likelihood, however, it won't be the end of efforts to negate Christian views of gender and sex.

The LGBT activists are not going to give up trying to force this, so it's likely there will eventually be a reason for a case like this to go forward.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.