Religion Clause: Suit Claims School’s Restroom Policy Burdens Muslim and Christian Religious Beliefs

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Suit was filed this week in an Ohio federal district court challenging a school district’s rule change that allows transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that conform to their gender identity. 

Religion Clause: Suit Claims School’s Restroom Policy Burdens Muslim and Christian Religious Beliefs

Plaintiffs, who identify as Muslims and Christians, claim, among other contentions, that the new rules violate their free exercise and equal protection rights, their parental rights and Title IX.  The complaint (full text) in Doe No. 1 v. Bethel Local School District Board of Educaton, (SD OH, filed 11/22/2022), alleges in part:

67. The [Muslim] Plaintiffs … sincerely believe that Allah makes men and women in the womb as distinct and separate genders. Allah desires modesty and separateness between the sexes. Satan attempts to entice humans to change and disobey what Allah has created and desires, and believers are to stay true to Allah’s creation and commands….

68. Muslim parents are responsible for raising their children in the faith including its morals and values….  This is a fundamental part of the parents’ exercise of their own faith. The Board is imposing a substantial burden on the free exercise of that faith by placing the children in intimate facilities with members of the opposite biological sex….

79. [Seven of the] Plaintiffs … are all active members of the Christian community.

80. For thousands of years, Judeo-Christianity has taught that their identity as people comes from God, who made human beings in his image—male and female. See, e.g., Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 19:4-6. Therefore, a human being’s dignity comes from the image of God himself. And God’s fashioning of a human being as a man or woman at birth is a fundamental part of that dignity. One cannot impose on that dignity without transgressing the fundamental core of a Christian.

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