The university sent an unsigned email saying it will “suspend all undergraduate club activities” while it “takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect (the university’s) religious freedom,” citing the upcoming Jewish holidays, according to a copy of the email provided by the attorney.
This email was sent two days after the nation’s highest court 5-4 rejected a university’s request to block a lower court order requiring it to recognize an LGBTQ student club “Pride Alliance”.
Katie Rosenfeld, the lawyer representing the club, called the university’s latest decision a “shameful tactic” that aims to pit students against their LGBTQ peers.
“The YU administration’s announcement today that it will cancel all student club activities rather than accept an on-campus LGBTQ peer support group 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,” Rosenfeld told CNN in a statement.
“The Pride Alliance is looking for a safe space on campus, nothing more,” the attorney added.
The announcement does not specify how long the undergraduate club’s activities will be suspended and whether the decision will be reviewed.
CNN has reached out to Yeshiva University for comment.
Rabbi Ari Berman, president of the institution, released a statement online Thursday in response to the court’s decision, saying that “every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to create clubs, places and spaces that are part of its religious tradition.”
“Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right to self-determination.”
In its unsigned order earlier in the week, the Supreme Court noted that New York state courts have yet to issue a final order in the case and the university may return to court. supreme after the state courts have acted.
Lawyers for the Becket Religious Liberty Fund, representing Yeshiva, also said the lower court order is an “unprecedented” intrusion into the university’s religious beliefs and a gross violation of Yeshiva’s First Amendment rights.