Christian College Fights Transgender Dorm Mandate

A small Missouri college is fighting a Biden administration mandate to allow students of a different birth gender to stay in dorms, showers and bathrooms. The College of the Ozarks is challenging the White House in court over the rule.

The Christian college alleges that the Biden administration is restricting its religious liberties through its mandate regarding transgender students. 

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order which was intended for students to “be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” 

The order said that students should not worry “about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room or school sports.” 

Biden’s executive order implemented changes to interpretations regarding gender identity discrimination.

The executive order was followed by prospective changes by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that require that women’s dorms, including showers, be opened to biological males, and vice-versa. The HUD order did not allow for any exceptions, including for religious universities.

The college’s lawsuit said that the college “prohibits biological males who “identify” as females from living in female dormitories, and vice-versa.” 

It added that the college “regularly communicates its housing policies to current and prospective students through a student handbook, an online virtual tour, the school website and in-person recruitment events.” 

The College of the Ozarks alleges that there was “an imminent threat under the Memorandum.” This includes a potential violation “of the College’s religious beliefs” or even having to “cease providing student housing altogether.” 

The controversy over students of a different birth gender using the other gender’s facilities comes during the debate over the role of transgender athletes.

College swimmer Riley Gaines has been outspoken regarding the participation of biologically-male Lia Thomas in competitions.

Thomas called some of her former teammates “anti-feminists.” 

According to Thomas, her University of Pennsylvania, teammates only showed “half” support. Furthermore, the swimmer said that fellow swimmers said that they respected “her as a woman here, but not there.” 

Thomas said that these athletes were “pretending to be supportive on some level but, in reality, it all sorts of falls flat.”