The College of the Ozarks has been refused a request to delay an executive order under the Fair Housing Act protecting the rights of transgender students in campus accommodations.
The Missouri-based religious college sued the Biden administration in April over a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) directive on gender discrimination allowing transgender students to stay in the dormitories of the gender with which they identify.
On Wednesday, District Judge Roseann Ketchmark denied a request from the school for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction while the court case is ongoing.
“While we are disappointed in today’s ruling, we expect to appeal so that schools are not forced to open women’s dorm rooms to males and violate their religious beliefs… The fight to protect our religious freedom has just begun,” said College President Jerry C. Davis in a statement.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the college, intends to appeal the dismissal, ADF Legal Strategy Vice President Ryan Bangert told Fox News.
The institution interpreted the HUD order as forcing “religious schools to violate their beliefs by opening their dormitories, including dorm rooms and shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex” which prompted the legal action.
In the suit, the college asserted the importance of the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction because the act “creates immediate upheaval within the College’s continuing enforcement of its housing policies.”
“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,” the ADF said in its statement.