The ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Eugene Division, also says religious colleges can receive federal financial aid.
The case was brought by an LGBT activist group on behalf of current and former college students who sought to prevent any student from using tuition grants, student loans, and any other federal financial assistance at schools that operate according to biblical teachings about sexuality.
Corban University, William Jessup University, and Phoenix Seminary sought to intervene in the case last fall, and they were represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in the case, Hunter v. U.S. Department of Education.
"The plaintiffs were asking a federal court to punish religious schools and their students merely for holding and living out those widely-accepted religious teachings," summarizes ADF attorney Ryan Tucker. "Not only that, the plaintiffs also sought to declare certain legal protections for religion unconstitutional in general. So we're very thankful for this great result."
Had things gone the other way, Tucker says the lawsuit would have slammed the door shut to most students looking to pursue higher education at religious colleges and universities across the United States.
"It could have had a tremendously damaging impact on religious education and religious students and universities going forward. It is an absolutely must for universities to step up," the attorney asserts.