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New York Court Forcing Yeshiva University to Accept LGBT Club on Campus

New York Court Forcing Yeshiva University to Accept LGBT Club on Campus

“Jewish law generally prohibits homosexual behavior, and while YU admits gay students, it repeatedly resisted calls to approve an LGBTQ student club”

Yeshiva University is an Orthodox Jewish school. For the left, LGBT issues trump religious liberty and convictions.

Natan Ehrenriech writes at National Review:

A New York Court Denies Yeshiva University Its Religious Freedom

LGBTQ issues are some of the most controversial and divisive in the country. They touch on difficult questions, generating passionate views on both sides. Accordingly, we should cultivate a space where such issues can be appropriately reconciled through honest persuasion. We should not, however, use the heavy hand of government to force religious institutions into violating their collective conscience.

That is exactly what occurred on Tuesday in a court case involving my school, Yeshiva University. YU, an Orthodox Jewish university in New York City, is the flagship institution of American Modern Orthodoxy, a religious ideology that seeks to meld the richness of Jewish tradition with modern advances in science, technology, and general knowledge.

To me and many other American Jews, YU represents the remarkable nature of the Jewish experience in the United States, a country that has allowed us to participate in public life while representing our faith proudly. But YU’s right to act according to its deeply held religious beliefs took a blow when a New York judge issued an injunction forcing the school to recognize an LGBTQ club on campus.

Jewish law generally prohibits homosexual behavior, and while YU admits gay students, it repeatedly resisted calls to approve an LGBTQ student club, explaining that it could not do so while remaining faithful to Orthodox Jewish tradition. Whether you agree with this decision or not, using the government to force religious institutions into performing actions that violate their conscience does no good for society. On the contrary, it only deepens enmity and division. I worry that Tuesday’s decision paints a concerning picture for the future of religious liberty.


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JackinSilverSpring | June 21, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Can’t Yeshiva University appeal this decision to a federal court?

    Just says “a” NY court, perhaps appeals first through state system, ? if will be able to get a stay while under appeal.
    Interesting if argument is that once Yeshiva let’s students in, they need equal privileges, so the “answer” would require adherence to Orthodox standards for admittance, which is another thing.
    I guess a question is does Yeshiva take students who are getting federal financial aid?

    Steven Brizel in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | June 22, 2022 at 9:54 am

    This case was commenced in the state courts and is being appealed by Yeshiva University
    ( YU) . I wonder why YU did not remove the case from the state courts to the federal courts which is permitted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in such and other cases.

    I suspect that the NY state courts, which tend to be woke in their analysis, may affirm and that YU will petition for certiorari in SCOTUS. in this case which clearly poses a conflict between free exercise of religion and purported lack of equal protection . This is a case where the judge focused unduly on the corporate charter of YU and gave too much credence to what happens at YU’s graduate schools which are secular in nature , as opposed to the undergraduate schools where a basic fact on the ground is adherence to Jewish law is expected of all students.

There is a First Amendment, freedom of religion issue, so it should be possible.

Their real target is probably Catholic colleges and universities—(those that haven’t already been destroyed by Jesuits, that is).

henrybowman | June 22, 2022 at 1:00 am

“Jewish law generally prohibits homosexual behavior”
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

Read the decision before criticizing it. It actually makes a good deal of sense. The key point is that back in the 1960s a deliberate decision was made to separate Yeshiva University and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Talmudic Seminary into two separate institutions sharing the same campus, and that YU was to identify as a secular institution, with RIETS being a religious affiliate school. This was done in order to qualify for government funding that, at the time, was not available to religious institutions. (The Supreme Court at the time allowed and encouraged such regulations.) Since it’s officially not a religious school, its claim to be exempt from the relevant law was rejected; had it been officially a religious institution it would have prevailed.

    MDP in reply to Milhouse. | June 22, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for the additional information,

    Steven Brizel in reply to Milhouse. | June 22, 2022 at 9:58 am

    I respectfully disagree-the judge focused unduly to what is in YU;’s charter and the nature of YU’s graduate schools, and was too dismissive of the religious requirements and atmosphere of YU’s undergraduate schools where students , faculty , and rabbis endlessly debate whether it is too religious or not religious enough.

      Milhouse in reply to Steven Brizel. | June 22, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      The charter is what’s important. It didn’t happen by accident. It was a deliberate decision in the 1960s, made for financial benefit, and it was widely condemned; people predicted that the decision would eventually come back to bite them, and now we see that they were right. Let YU revise its charter, re-merge with RIETS and openly declare itself to be a religious institution, and it will prevail in this case.

        Steven Brizel in reply to Milhouse. | June 23, 2022 at 11:07 am

        I have read the decision and it is very clear that the Court engaged in emphasizing form in the contents of YUI’s charter over substance-the facts on the ground at YU’s undergraduate schools.

Why is this even a court issue?

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | June 22, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Because of the state’s anti-discrimination law, which explicitly exempts religious institutions, but YU deliberately chose not to be one. Now it wants the privileges of being a religious institution without the liabilities. Let it go back to being officially religious and it will prevail.

There is an article by Jack Fowler in Philanthropy Daily with additional information/point of view.

Steven Brizel | June 22, 2022 at 8:42 pm

In case anyone is interested the judge who rendered this decision is a member of and was rated as highly qualified by the L & G Bar Association