A federal judge has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to share dorm rooms and shower spaces with those of the opposite biological sex at a Christian college in Missouri.
Judge Roseann Ketchmark of the District Court of Western Missouri — an Obama appointee — ruled Wednesday against the College of the Ozarks, which sued President Joe Biden over his executive order prohibiting segregation based on biological sex, lawyers representing the school said Wednesday.
Biden’s inauguration day executive order prevented schools from using biological sex for “discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“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 biological sex,” said Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), according to the Daily Caller.
“The Biden administration’s overreach continues to victimize women, girls and people of faith by gutting their legal protections, and it must be stopped.”
In April, the college filed the lawsuit against the Biden administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, arguing the government could not force a private religious institution to have biological males and females share bathrooms and housing spaces.
If the college violates the order, it could face up to six-figure fines. School administrators expect to appeal the decision, the Daily Caller said.
“While we are disappointed in today’s ruling, we expect to appeal so that schools are not forced to open girls dorms to males and violate their religious beliefs,” Ozarks spokesman Valerie Coleman said. “We will continue to fight.”
Biden’s executive order, which is among the first things he signed, has received sharp criticism by many; they argue the decision will hurt women.
In contrast, supporters of the decision say it is a win for LGBTQ rights.
“It is of great significance to the LGBTQ community that on their first day in office, this administration has made it clear that discrimination has no place in the federal government,” National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey said in a statement.
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