Yeshiva University, reacting to a Supreme Court ruling rejecting their attempt to block an LGBTQ+ student organization, decided to suspend all student groups.
According to YU’s independent student newspaper, The Commentator, the university announced the move in an email to students. The message says the school is taking the time to follow the Supreme Court’s decision, which said it should pursue the case in state court.
“In view of the upcoming Chagim,” the letter reads, using the Hebrew word referring to the Jewish High Holidays, “the university will suspend all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes action to follow the worksheet. route provided by the United States Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.
The holiday begins with Rosh Hashanah on the evening of September 25 and continues until Simchat Torah on October 18. The letter does not say that the clubs would necessarily be reinstated just after this time. Fox News contacted YU for more information, but they did not immediately respond.
The dispute stems from a New York state court ordering Yeshiva to grant full recognition to an on-campus LGBTQ+ club. Yeshiva argued that it was a religious institution and that it could not be forced to recognize anything that contradicted the religious mission of the University. The New York judge found that the school is first and foremost an educational institution and cannot rely on a claim of religious freedom to block the club.
The Supreme Court, denying Yeshiva University’s request to put the New York County Supreme Court ruling on the break, said the school has “at least two other avenues for obtaining expedited or interim relief from state courts.”
Tai Miller, a former YU student and plaintiff in the case against the university, reacted to the club’s suspension announcement on Twitter, calling it “a throwback to 50 years ago when the city of Jackson , Mississippi, closed all public pools rather than comply with the court.” desegregation orders.
“The Pride Alliance seeks a safe space on campus, nothing more. By shutting down all club activities, the YU administration attempts to divide the student body and pit students against their LGBT peers. We are confident that YU students will see through this shameful tactic and stand together in the community.
The school’s decision to suspend the groups came a day after YU President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman released a statement saying he hoped to work with the LGBTQ+ community.
“Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to create the clubs, venues and spaces that align with its religious tradition,” Berman said. “Yeshiva University is simply seeking that same right to self-determination. The Supreme Court has laid out the roadmap for us to find prompt relief, and we will follow its instructions. At the same time, like our commitment and love for our LGBTQ students are unwavering, we continue to reach out inviting them to work together to create a more inclusive campus life consistent with our Torah values.
Yeshiva Student Union President Baruch Lerman was caught off guard by the club’s suspension, telling the commentator that he and his organization “didn’t expect the university to take this drastic step, and didn’t have received no guidance on how we should go about approving clubs, or running student council events.