Judge rules Yeshiva University must recognize LGBT student group

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The New York County Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Yeshiva University (YU) of New York to recognize the YU Pride Alliance, an on-campus LGBT club.

Judge Lynn Kotler ruled Tuesday that because the Modern Orthodox institution is licensed as a nonreligious organization, YU must comply with New York City human rights law and “immediately grant the Complaining YU Pride Alliance full equality of accommodations, benefits, facilities and privileges granted to all other groups of students at Yeshiva University.”

Kotler also ordered that Defendants YU and President Ari Berman be “permanently restrained from continuing their refusal to officially recognize the YU Pride Alliance as a student organization based on members’ sexual orientation or gender and/or or the status, mission and/or mission of the YU Pride Alliance or activities on behalf of LGBTQ students.”

The judge also argued that because “Yeshiva University is not a ‘religious society,'” it cannot ban a group of students based on Jewish beliefs.

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New York State Supreme Court building in Foley Square, New York.
(Joe Daniel Award via Getty Images)

Legal disputes over LGBT issues at YU have been going on at least since 2020 when seven student activists filed a lawsuit with the New York City Commission on Human Rights alleging discrimination at the school after administrators shot down the student government’s attempt to recognize the LGBT group, according to The Times of Israel.

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A spokesperson for YU pushed back against the decision, telling Fox News Digital that the school would appeal the decision because “the court’s decision violates the religious freedom this country was built on.”

A Yeshiva student wears a face mask on college grounds on March 4, 2020 in New York City.

A Yeshiva student wears a face mask on college grounds on March 4, 2020 in New York City.
(David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

“The ruling allows courts to interfere in the internal affairs of religious schools, hospitals and other charities. Any ruling that Yeshiva is not religious is obviously wrong,” the spokesperson also said.

“As our name suggests, Yeshiva University was founded to instill Torah values ​​in its students while providing a stellar education, enabling them to live with religious conviction as noble citizens and committed Jews. So that we love and care for our students, who are all – each and every one – created in the image of God, we strongly disagree with today’s decision and will immediately appeal the decision.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams waves a pride flag during the 30th annual Queen's Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival in Queens, New York on June 5, 2022.

New York Mayor Eric Adams waves a pride flag during the 30th annual Queen’s Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival in Queens, New York on June 5, 2022.
(YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

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YU maintained that its non-sectarian status was only used in regards to its admissions policy, since non-Jewish students are allowed to attend.