(UnitedVoice.com) – The identity politics of the Democratic Party is moving well beyond political rhetoric into strong-handed enforcement. On his first day in office, Joe Biden signed an “Executive Order (EO) on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.” The directive ordered federal agencies to define the word “sex” in the Fair Housing Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation, forcing a showdown between the government and religious groups forced to violate their beliefs.
The College of the Ozarks proactively sued the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to prevent the administration from enforcing the EO. It argued that the directive would force the college to violate its religious convictions because it mandates that all living spaces and facilities be open to both sexes regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The school asked for a preliminary injunction. Federal Judge Roseann Ketchmark threw out the case and said the school would not be immune to litigation if the school violated the EO.
Once Again Supreme Court Precedent on Religious Liberties Is Ignored
Judge Ketchmark must not be paying attention to recent Supreme Court rulings when it comes to religious liberties. The high court was very willing over the last few years to remind local, state, and federal governments that the First Amendment protects the freedom of religion and the government’s intrusion upon it.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled for a Colorado baker who the Colorado Civil Rights Commission fined for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple on religious grounds. In July 2020, the court ruled for the Little Sisters of the Poor Saints, who argued the government was forcing them to provide birth control in Obamacare regulations against their religious convictions. Finally, in late 2020, the court ruled that states couldn’t treat churches differently than big businesses during a pandemic and expressly stated the Constitution was not suspended during a crisis. There’s more, check out how the Supreme Court is protecting religion.
This case seems like another opportunity for the court to clarify to the legislative and executive branches that there are severe limitations on regulating religious entities. Unfortunately, lower court judges like Ketchmark ignore the Supreme Court’s position regarding Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion. The executive branch and the lower courts are trampling upon the governing document of this country, the Constitution.
What’s at Stake in the Ozark College Case?
The small Christian college that doesn’t charge tuition argued that Biden’s rule would force them, and other colleges of religious conviction, to house boys and girls who identify as a different genders together.
The goal of achieving the aim of the EO forced Biden to stretch the meaning of words in the Fair Housing Act. When Congress wrote The Fair Housing Act, the word “sex” referred strictly to a person’s biological gender. They never thought of those who are gender nonconforming as an issue during its formulation. However, HUD will now interpret it to mean any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Must it be clarified once again that there is a difference between Constitutional rights and the far-left agenda? The Constitution makes it plainly clear that the government cannot discriminate against religious organizations. Over the last few years, the Supreme Court ruled that way numerous times, yet Democrats remain hostile to America’s religious freedoms.
What’s at stake is the plain meaning of words, religious liberties, and continued threats against the First Amendment.
It’s a good thing the US Supreme Court is properly grounded and ready to serve as the last line of defense for the freedom of religion in America.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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