American Jewry, Freedom of religion, Orthodox

Yeshiva University Asks Supreme Court to Block Pride Club

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Yeshiva University (YU) is asking the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling ordering it to recognize a pride club for LGBTQ students. The courtcase goes back to April 2021, when some alumni and students sued the school for breaking the New York State Human Rights Law for refusing to charter a YU Pride chapter. The lower court ruled in June that YU is a secular, rather than a religious institution and therefore must offer the group “the full equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges afforded to all other students groups.”

The university counters that it only exists for a “purely religious purpose.” Banning the group, it explained, would be in violation of the Torah. YU cited the case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo-Oyez, where the Supreme Court ruled that Catholic social service agencies may deny applications for child adoption by gay couples. The school also argues that a ruling in its favor would safeguard the First Amendment and therefore, would serve the public interest. “When secular authorities try to tell Yeshiva University that it is not religious, you know something has gone terribly wrong,” said Eric Baxter, senior counsel for YU. “The First Amendment protects Yeshiva’s right to practice its faith. We are asking the Supreme Court to correct this obvious error.”

Yeshiva University president Ari Berman said, “The Torah guides everything that we do at Yeshiva.”