Biden admin moves to exempt religious schools from LGBTQ mandate on lunch funding after court loss

Religious liberty doesn’t jive with radical Marxist ideologues and neither does the rule of law, as one Florida school recently proved with another major victory in the culture war.

At every turn progressives have taken up arms against the Judeo-Christian values upon which the nation was founded and the free expression thereof in favor of the unconstitutional federal sponsorship of the woke religion promoted through the furtherance of critical theories like gender and queer theory.

Adherence to this faith has led President Joe Biden’s administration to institute change through bureaucracy, including an update to Title IX that would require private religious schools to accept that the definition of “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity or be barred from receiving funding to provide lunch to low-income children as BizPac Review reported previously.

While 22 states have joined in a suit against the federal government over the update to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service program, so too did Grant Park Christian Academy in Tampa, FL, and their challenge was successful as explained by their legal counsel, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Specifically, ADF had represented Grant Park as they sued Biden and Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stating the academy’s “religious beliefs, including its understanding of the nature of the human person and marriage and family, preclude it from complying with this federal mandate to substitute gender identity for biological sex in any aspect of its activities, especially when it comes to males sharing restrooms with females.”

Nine days after the suit was filed, the Biden administration and Fried informed Grant Park that they would receive a religious exemption. The USDA then released an updated fact sheet that explained, “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (‘Title IX’) is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination by educational institutions receiving financial assistance from the federal government, including USDA.”

“Although this prohibition applies to a wide array of public and private schools at the K-12 and the college/university level, the law includes some exceptions, including one permitting an institution to be exempt on religious grounds if there is a conflict between Title IX and a school’s governing religious tenets,” the statement stipulated.

Acknowledging the win, ADF Legal Counsel Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo still expressed frustration as he argued, “It shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit to get the government to respect religious freedom. Grant Park Christian Academy treats every child with dignity and respect and never turns away a hungry child.”

“Now, provided the government follows through and approves Grant Park Christian Academy’s application and confirms its exemption, this private school can continue feeding dozens of children healthy meals every day,” she went on. “We will defend other public and private schools across the country who remain under the burden of this unlawful mandate that violates religious beliefs.”

Pastor Alfred Johnson, president of Faith Action Ministry Alliance that runs Grant Park, expressed his gratitude to ADF for helping bring about a quick resolution to the challenge. Our kids depend on our school’s lunch program to eat balanced, nutritious meals,” he said of the currently 56 low-income students enrolled in the program,” and we’re breathing a sigh of relief that we can continue this vital outreach to the Grant Park community.”

A similar win against government overreach was secured in Chicago, Illinois when Liberty Counsel represented health care workers terminated from NorthShore University HealthSystem for refusing to submit themselves to mandatory COVID vaccination policies on religious grounds.

Liberty Counsel founder and chair Mat Staver described the $10.3 million settlement as “a wake-up call to every employer that did not accommodate or exempt employees who opposed the COVID shots for religious reasons.”

In total, “Approximately 100,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential childcare institutions receive federal funding to provide subsidized free or reduced-price meals for qualifying children,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita explained of the joint suit filed by 22 Republican states.

As ADF and Liberty Counsel have proven the only way to stop the overreach is to face it head-on.

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Kevin Haggerty

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