Sep 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Yeshiva University suspends activities after SCOTUS ruling on LGBTQ club

Yeshiva University
People walk by the campus of Yeshiva University in New York City on Aug. 30 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Yeshiva University suspended all student club activities this week after the U.S. Supreme Court denied its request to overturn a lower court ruling requiring the New York college to recognize an LGBTQ student group.

Driving the news: An attorney for the student group, the YU Pride Alliance, called the university’s response to the ruling “shameful," while Yeshiva's president said the school's legal fight is not over.

What they’re saying: YU Pride Alliance’s attorney Katie Rosenfeld said in a statement the school’s course of action "rather than accept one LGBTQ peer support group on campus is a throwback to 50 years ago when the city of Jackson, Mississippi, closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with court orders to desegregate."

  • "We are confident that YU students will see through this shameful tactic and stand together in community," Rosenfeld added in a statement.

Catch up quick: The YU Pride Alliance sued the Modern Orthodox Jewish college last year after it refused to officially recognize the club.

  • A New York judge declared that the university is not a religious institution and must recognize the group. After the New York Court of Appeals refused the school’s request to review the denial of a stay, the school asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
  • The high court told Yeshiva to go back to New York state court to pursue the legal outcome it is seeking. Opposing the 5-4 ruling were four of the court's conservative justices.

State of play: The school informed students in an email that "the university will hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect YU's religious freedom,” NPR reports.

The other side: Yeshiva University President Rabbi Ari Berman said in a statement that the school would continue its legal battle.

  • "Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition," Berman said. "Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right of self-determination."
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