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Yeshiva University shuts down clubs in High Court LGBTQ ruling

Yeshiva University abruptly suspended student club activity following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this week that ordered the school to recognize — for now — a group of LGBTQ students.

In an email to students, university officials said on Friday that it is “withholding all undergraduate club activities while it takes immediate steps to follow the roadmap provided by the Supreme Court. of the United States to protect YU’s religious freedom”.

The High Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the LGBTQ group, YU Pride Alliance, to seek official recognition from the Jewish University of New York.

The undergraduate group describes itself as “a supportive space for all students, of all sexual orientations and gender identities, to feel respected, visible and represented.”

University spokespersons did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Saturday.

By a 5-4 vote on Wednesday, judges lifted a temporary stay of a court order that requires Yeshiva University to recognize the group, even as a legal fight continues in New York courts. Two conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with the court’s three liberal justices to form a majority.

The disagreement between the judges appears to be mostly over procedure, with the majority writing in a brief unsigned order that Yeshiva should return to state court to seek a speedy review and temporary relief while the case continues. If it doesn’t win either state court, the school can go back to the Supreme Court, the majority wrote.

The case was closely followed by other denominational institutions.

Following the decision, the university’s president, Rabbi Ari Berman, said denominational universities have the right to establish clubs as part of his understanding of Torah.

“Yeshiva University is simply seeking that same right of self-determination,” he said. “The Supreme Court has given us the roadmap to find a speedy remedy and we will follow its instructions.”

Berman also said the university’s “commitment and love for our LGBTQ students is unwavering.”

Nonetheless, an attorney for the students said the university’s action on Friday was divisive and “shameful.”

“The Pride Alliance seeks a safe space on campus, nothing more. By shutting down all club activities, the YU administration is attempting to divide the student body and pit students against their LGBT peers,” the statement said. lawyer, Katie Rosenfeld.

The university’s tactic, she said, “is a throwback to 50 years ago, when the city of Jackson, Mississippi, closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with the ordinances of the desegregation court”.

The university, an Orthodox Jewish institution in New York, argued that granting recognition to the Pride Alliance would “violate its sincere religious beliefs.”

The club argued that Yeshiva’s plea to the Supreme Court was premature, also noting that the university had already recognized a gay pride club at its law school.

A New York state court sided with the student group and ordered the university to immediately recognize the club. The case is still on appeal in the state court system, but judges have declined to stay the order in the meantime.

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