POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – College of the Ozarks is suing President Joe Biden, claiming that his executive order is unconstitutional for preventing the college from assigning dorms based on students’ biological sex.
The executive order, signed on Biden’s first day in office, states that “all persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
However, C of O President Jerry C. Davis says the order violates the college’s constitutional rights by forcing female students to be roommates with biologically male students.
“The administration has every intention of overstepping the boundaries of the law by forcing religious colleges to allow male students to live in girls’ dorms,” Davis said. “The directive exceeds the administration’s authority and violates the constitutionally protected freedom of College of the Ozarks and similar religious institutions to operate consistently with their religious beliefs.”
The college is seeking a temporary restraining order to pause the new directive as they communicate housing instructions to students for the upcoming fall semester. Meanwhile, the case will make its way through the court system.
Davis says the lawsuit is needed to protect the college’s freedoms, which he claims have been at risk since Biden assumed office.
“Many things are different from the Trump administration to the Biden administration,” Davis said. “Our main concern at this point is protecting our religious liberty, and that is now in serious jeopardy. The reinterpretation of the Fair Housing Act by Biden and the quick implementation of the directive show us exactly what we are facing. We must not allow the government to force religious schools to house men in women’s dorms.”
College of the Ozarks is a private religious institution that has long separated dorm rooms, bathrooms and other “intimate spaces” based on biological sex. They also place a heavy emphasis on patriotism, hard work, faith and service.
Because of this hardened focus on patriotism and hard work, Davis was appointed by President Trump in 2020 to serve on the 1776 Commission for the purpose of furthering “patriotic education.”
C of O’s mission is to “provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training,” according to their website.
The college, nicknamed Hard Work U., allows students to work for the college in various capacities while attending classes to pay off their student debt, giving them the chance to graduate college debt free.
Davis says the college’s decision to sue the Biden Administration took significant consideration but he felt that there was no other option and expects that the lawsuit could make it to the Supreme Court.
“Our decision to file a lawsuit against President Biden and his administration was not done so lightly,” Davis said. “This administration’s radical and unilateral actions to violate women’s privacy and religious liberty — with little concern for the text of our laws — left us with no choice.”
“We are hopeful that the college’s religious convictions will be respected, even if our case has to go to the Supreme Court.”
According to Davis, the lawsuit against Biden is about much more than C of O being able to separate dorms based on biological sex. In his view, the executive order could be the catalyst for a slippery slope that Americans need to recognize the danger of.
“Such a flagrant violation of the law ought to be shocking,” Davis said. “This is America – land of the free. Unfortunately, this doesn’t feel or look like freedom. Instead, a small, private Christian college nestled in America’s heartland is suddenly faced with something akin to George Orwell’s novel 1984. The Biden Administration touts this as freedom for all; it’s quite the opposite and, sadly, will only further divide our great nation.”
“Today, this case concerns religious colleges. Tomorrow, it could be about other colleges, schools, churches, or businesses. The Constitution protects our freedom by separating power and limiting authority. When the government overreaches, College of the Ozarks will defend freedom – especially religious freedom. Our call to action and our hope is that others will join us.”