When President Joe Biden took office earlier this year, he didn’t waste any time implementing policies that threaten our most basic freedoms.
Case in point: On his very first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order redefining “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This has various (and concerning) implications. One of those implications became reality just three weeks later, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a rule change. Under the new rules, religious schools are forced to open their sex-specific dormitories, including dorm rooms and showers, to members of the opposite sex.
As you can probably imagine, this didn’t sit well with many faith-based institutions—in particular, College of the Ozarks. So its administration decided to do something about it.
Who: College of the Ozarks
Founded in 1906, College of the Ozarks is a religious school in Missouri that aims to provide a Christian education.
No students pay tuition at College of the Ozarks. Instead, they work on campus to help pay their way through school. The remainder of the costs are covered by donations. Because of this unique arrangement, in 1973 Richard Martin referred to the college as “Hard Work U.” in the Wall Street Journal—a label that College of the Ozarks has embraced.
Ultimately, the college’s vision is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hardworking, and patriotic.
At College of the Ozarks, the Christian faith is at the center of everything they do. For example, the college holds to a Christian belief that biological sex is not changeable, and it operates its dorms accordingly.
But according to HUD’s rule change, colleges and universities nationwide, including faith-based institutions, would be forced to open girls’ dorms to male students. And not just open up residence halls by floor, but to place males in girls’ dorms as roommates and to allow them to use communal bathrooms and showers.
If they refuse, religious colleges and universities face ruinous financial penalties if they continue to operate consistently with their beliefs.
And that was something that College of the Ozarks couldn’t—and shouldn’t have to—accept.
When: April 2021 – Present
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of College of the Ozarks in April 2021. And today, on May 19, ADF attorneys will represent the college in federal court.
Where: Point Lookout, Missouri
The College of the Ozarks campus is located in Point Lookout, Missouri—just outside of Branson, Missouri.
Why: The government does not belong in dorm rooms
Our Constitution protects the right of faith-based institutions to operate according to their beliefs. It also protects our freedom by separating power and limiting government.
And in this case the government is clearly overreaching. After all, government officials are bound by the law—and forcing religious colleges to allow male students to live in girls’ dorms clearly violates the law. This must be stopped.
The Bottom Line
Young women shouldn’t be forced to share private spaces—including showers and dorm rooms—with males.