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Pending Return to SCOTUS, Yeshiva University Freezes All Student Group Activities Rather Than Recognize LGBT Alliance

Pending Return to SCOTUS, Yeshiva University Freezes All Student Group Activities Rather Than Recognize LGBT Alliance

“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.”

We last reported on the lawsuit by the Yeshiva University “Pride Alliance” seeking official recognition against the religious convictions of the university.

The Supreme Court denied a stay on procedural grounds, with an open invitation by the court to come back once state remedies were exhausted, Yeshiva University Must Recognize LGBTQ Student Group For Now, After SCOTUS Vacates Stay As Premature:

“If applicants seek and receive neither expedited review nor interim relief from the New York courts, they may return to this Court.”

The four dissenting Justices, in an opinion by Alito, would have granted the stay now, and predicted the university would win on the merits when it returned:

… the majority—for no good reason—sends the University back to the state courts. The upshot is that Yeshiva is almost certain to be compelled for at least some period of time (and perhaps for a lengthy spell) to instruct its students in accordance with what it regards as an incorrect interpretation of Torah and Jewish law….

At least four of us are likely to vote to grant certiorari if Yeshiva’s First Amendment arguments are rejected on appeal, and Yeshiva would likely win if its case came before us ….

Unless a stay is granted, Yeshiva will be required to recognize the Alliance as an official student group and to grant it all the privileges extended to other such groups. As the Alliance has contended, this would force Yeshiva to make a “statement” in support of an interpretation of Torah with which the University disagrees. The loss of First Amendment rights for even a short period constitutes irreparable harm ….

Faced with this irreparable harm of state court-compelled speech, Yeshiva has announced it is freezing all student group activity. The student newspaper reports:

Yeshiva University will temporarily freeze all undergraduate club activities until it finalizes its legal strategy after its request for a stay on an order to recognize a campus LGBTQ+ club was denied by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Sources close to the administration told The Commentator that university officials are considering dissolving all clubs and student organizations to avoid recognizing the YU Pride Alliance as an official campus club. The future of student-run activities and student councils is unknown.

“Considering the upcoming Chagim,” a university email said, “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.”

Reuters confirmed the reporting:

Yeshiva University, ordered by a judge to formally recognize an LGBT student group even as the Jewish school in New York City argues that doing so would violate its religious values, on Friday announced that it has halted the activities of all its undergraduate student clubs as it plans its next steps….

Citing upcoming Jewish holidays, Yeshiva said in an email to students 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.”

Katie Rosenfeld, a lawyer for Y.U. Pride Alliance, said in a statement she is confident that “students will see through this shameful tactic and stand together in community.”

Rosenfeld called the university’s move to cancel all student club activities rather than accept one LGBT 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.”

This screenshot of the university email was posted on Twitter:

Yeshiva is planning a return to SCOTUS:

When asked for comment, Y.U. referred the New York Jewish Week to a press statement made by President Ari Berman on Sept. 14, in reference to the Supreme Court’s latest ruling.

“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. Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right of self-determination,” Berman wrote.

“The Supreme Court has laid out the roadmap for us to find expedited relief and we will follow their instructions. At the same time, as our commitment to and love for our LGBTQ students are unshakeable, we continue to extend our hand in invitation to work together to create a more inclusive campus life consistent with our Torah values,” he added.

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Comments


 
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JackinSilverSpring | September 16, 2022 at 6:21 pm

I thought something like this might be one escape avenue out of this gross violation of YU’s religious liberties. I would have simply not have any clubs rather than have one that violates my religious faith. This is no way like Jackson MS. Jackson is a city with a wide variety of citizens from whom it collects taxes. All of its citizens have the same rights to the public areas. By contrast YU is a private corporation with many rules not open to dissent (the basic canon of Jewish law) and which dictate the behavior of the school’s administration. If these students don’t like the school’s rules they have two choices: go somewhere else; or live with the school’s rules.


     
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    rhhardin in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | September 16, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Not if the school directly or indirectly gets federal funds. They can go that way, like HIllsdale.


     
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    dunce1239 in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | September 17, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    Checkmate.


     
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    dunce1239 in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | September 17, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Checkmate, it seems that they are queers first then Jewish.


     
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    Milhouse in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | September 18, 2022 at 5:24 am

    The issue is that YU has no religious faith. Its charter says it is a secular institution. It has for over 50 years declared to the whole world that it is a secular institution. And secular institutions must comply with the NY law, which explicitly exempts religious institutions.


       
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      JackinSilverSpring in reply to Milhouse. | September 18, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Millhouse, I told you the simple solution: no clubs to be supported by the school. If YU does that I suspect popular opinion of the other students may be enough to drive out the students who want to establish the LGBTQ club. Even if it doesn’t, the no club policy will solve the immediate problem faced by the YU administration. If the Supreme Court finds for the school, your point is moot. As a side note, I have a feeling the administration will probe much more deeply the sexual orientation of new applicants.


         
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        Milhouse in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | September 19, 2022 at 11:24 am

        That would be treating the symptom rather than the disease. YU’s problem, which has been festering for 55 years, is that it has been declaring to the world, כתבו לכם על קרן השור, that it has no share in the G-d of Israel. This is merely a long-delayed consequence of that decision. It needs to acknowledge that the Rav was right and reverse itself, and then this problem will automatically go away.

        I have a feeling the administration will probe much more deeply the sexual orientation of new applicants.

        That would not only be probably illegal even for a religious institution, but it would be contrary to YU’s long-standing public position against such discrimination. YU and its rabbinic leaders have for years declared that they welcome all without regard to sexual orientation, and expect the same adherence to Jewish law from all. The fact that an applicant is gay ought to be treated no differently than the fact that an applicant may have a yearning for bacon, or is unmarried and has a yearning for the opposite sex.


 
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elliesmom | September 16, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Since LGB etc students are free to have a meet-up at the local Starbucks if they want to socialize. I’m assuming the group is looking to stick its hand in the student activities fund and to have its activities supported by the school. Since this appears to be a new issue, I’m going to guess the students knew no such alliance existed when they enrolled in the school. I’m also going to surmise the bulk of these kids are Jewish and knew what being Jewish means in regards to homosexuality, It will be interesting to see which side the rest of the student body comes down on when they lose access to all of the other clubs.


     
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    rhhardin in reply to elliesmom. | September 16, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve read a few Talmudic studies and homosexuality doesn’t come up in what my authors think is important anyway.


       
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      paracelsus in reply to rhhardin. | September 16, 2022 at 9:21 pm

      If you can find the time, I’d like to suggest re-reading the Talmud


       
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      Steven Brizel in reply to rhhardin. | September 17, 2022 at 9:13 pm

      The Torah In Leviticus clearly prohibits homosexual relationships and the Rabbis of the Talmud clearly rejected Greco Roman hedonism and celibacy and emphasized the building and maintenance of a family headed by a married man and woman as the means of transmitting Jewish values to the next generation


         
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        Milhouse in reply to Steven Brizel. | September 19, 2022 at 11:40 am

        The Torah prohibits intercourse between men, but does not treat it as worse than many other sexual offenses. Jewish law also prohibits certain acts between women, but does not treat it as a very serious offense. The extreme animus to this particular offense, above all others, that is found in Western culture is unknown in the Talmud or in Jewish tradition.

Reading what the two defecting conservatives said does imply that if YU loses at the local level it will be winning at the federal level.

Remember the ruling was purely procedural in that “you didn’t exhaust your local appeals before showing up at the supreme court”. YU is going to win out by the end whatever institutionalists say about it.

Transgender/homosexual couplets, socially liberal relations, coveting your mother or neighbor’s wife both, elective abortion are all considered sources of present and progressive dysfunction. Masturbation is also not celebrated.


 
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henrybowman | September 16, 2022 at 11:38 pm

A time-honored response to mischief from subordinates: “the entire squad will bear the punishment until the mischief stops.” An invitation to unofficial, unsanctioned blanket parties. Now the little darling snowflakes learn what real “threats to our safety” feel like.

Excellent move.

If you children can’t play nice, none of you get the toys. Now go do timeout.

It’s like punishing the whole class when one putz insists on misbehaving.

Peer pressure can be vicious sometimes…


 
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Steven Brizel | September 17, 2022 at 9:04 pm

The comparison to Mississippi is odious snd specious .No Judge can compel a private university to fund all clubs

“The Supreme Court has laid out the roadmap for us to find expedited relief and we will follow their instructions.

Actually the trial court laid out the roadmap for you to be exempt from the NY Human Rights Law. Just change your charter and bylaws to declare yourself a religious institution with a religious mission, and stop making official declarations to government agencies explicitly denying this! The judge didn’t mention re-merging with RIETS, but that would certainly go a long way to establishing your new status as a religious institution.

But YU refuses to do this, because it wants to have it both ways. Declare to the whole world that it is a secular institution, and get all the benefits of that status, but still be able to claim the opposite whenever it’s convenient.

And now it is playing victim, and good people are falling for it. Feh.

Kavanaugh, huh? I guess mobs and assassination attempts work.

Look forward to more squishy rulings on election challenges.

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