Supreme Court temporarily lets Yeshiva University block LGBTQ student club

As a result of a Supreme Court order Friday, Yeshiva University could bar an LGBTQ student group from being recognized as an official campus club.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the New York cases, struck down a state court order that barred the Orthodox Jewish University from blocking the group.

The court in its order indicated that it would have more to say on the subject in future.

Four current and former students sued the Manhattan Supreme Court last April after the college denied several requests to officially register the group as a student club.

The plaintiffs argued that not allowing such a group to be recognized with more than 100 other student clubs is discriminatory and a violation of New York human rights law.

New York State Judge Lynn Kotler ruled in favor of the group in June – saying Yeshiva is not a religious corporation according to its charter, a category that is exempt from anti-discrimination state law, so formally registering the club. Will have to do

New York State Judge Lynn Kotler ruled in favor of the group in June.
You Pride Alliance

Higher state courts temporarily rejected Yeshiva’s appeal to not recognize the club as the case is heard on its merits, prompting the university to file its petition with SCOTUS. Is.

“We are pleased with Justice Sotomayor’s decision to protect our religious freedom and identity as a leading faith-based educational institution,” said Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University.

“But make no mistake, we will continue to strive to create an environment that welcomes all students, including our LGBTQ community,” said Berman – who added that the administration works with students, teachers and rabbis to create an “inclusive” talking about. Premises” according to religious values.

Mordechai Levowitz, clinical director of Jewish Queer Youth and Yeshiva University alum, slammed the university as an “official voice” and questioned the validity of the school’s decision not to recognize the group.

Four current and former students filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last April.
Four current and former students filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last April.
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“There are 613 laws in the Torah,” said Mordechai Levowitz, clinical director of Jewish Queer Youth and alum at Yeshiva University. “Which law accepts a club of queer people, which law applies to that? Yeshiva is considered a school that teaches Jewish law.”

“Yashiva Yu is an authoritative voice,” Levovitz said. “He has declared that the recognition of queer people gathering, finding harmony among each other, feeling a sense of pride is a religious violation.”

“It’s not about sex – it’s about teenagers who want to have lunch together and talk about issues related to them,” he said.

Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel for The Beckett Fund, representing the university, said: “Not to force Yeshiva to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get such a general decision in favor of her First Amendment rights. was supposed. “

The Beckett Fund has been involved in other high-profile religious freedom cases, including a Jewish group that sued former Gov. Andrew Cuomo over COVID-19 restrictions, and Hobby Lobby stores providing contraception to employees on religious grounds. opposed the mandate. on its website.

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