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SCOTUS Declines Christian College Gender Discrimination Case

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The United States Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear a Christian college’s challenge to a federal prohibition on housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Hill reported Tuesday the high court decided not to hear the case brought by the College of the Ozarks to appeal a lower court’s ruling of no standing to challenge federal prohibitions on the school dictating which dormitories students could use based on their biological sex.

According to the report, the school sued the administration of President Joe Biden in 2021 after the Department of Housing and Urban Development promulgated regulations in line with Biden’s executive order protecting gender identity and sexual orientation in housing.

After a trial court and appeals court threw the case out for not having legal standing by showing a “concrete injury,” the school, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case.

“That result has mammoth implications,” The Hill reported the school’s attorneys wrote in court filings. “If HUD gets away with rewriting the FHA via the Directive, it has no incentive to ever go through the rule-making process. That eliminates judicial review until after an enforcement proceeding is complete and the regulated entity has already been harmed.”

The report said the decision effectively ends the case and represents a victory for the Biden administration’s efforts to challenge Republican-led states limitations on the ability of transgender students to participate in activities or engage in areas matching their gender identities, the report said.

The college could bring a new case if the federal government takes enforcement action against it for not allowing transgender students to be placed in the dorms they desire.

According to the report, the Department of Justice is concerned, however, how it can deal with the school because it has religious exemptions under Title IX which prohibits schools from discriminating against students due to sex.

The exemption could allow the school to bypass the federal law and regulations by enacting polices consistent with its religious doctrine, according to the report.

It is not the first time the high court has refused to hear gender discrimination cases, the report said.

According to the report, the court handed a win to the LGBTQ community in 2020 by affirming the 1964 Civil Rights Act provision that prohibits people being fired from their jobs based on sexual orientation or gender identity but has declined to hear other related cases multiple times since then.

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