A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that male and female students must be allowed to share shower spaces and dorms at a Christian college in Missouri — a devastating blow to those advocating for the safety of women on campus.
Judge Roseann Ketchmark ruled against the College of the Ozarks, a Christian college that sued the Biden administration over its transgender discrimination policies.
The college argued President Joe Biden’s executive order that prevented schools from denying children access to restrooms of their choosing opposed their convictions.
“Women shouldn’t be forced to share private spaces, including showers and dorm rooms with males, and religious schools shouldn’t be punished simply because of their beliefs about biological sex,” Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told reporters following the ruling, according to the Western Journal.
“The Biden administration’s overreach continues to victimize women, girls and people of faith by gutting their legal protections, and it must be stopped,” she continued.
The college could face fines of $100,000 or more for violations of the order.
“While we are disappointed in today’s ruling, we expect to appeal so that schools are not forced to open girls dorms to males and violate their religious beliefs,” College of the Ozarks Chief Communications Officer Valerie Coleman said at the Wednesday press conference, according to Newsmax. “We will continue to fight,” she said.
The decision could have strong consequences to the many faith-based colleges and universities across the nation.