After the Supreme Court denied a bid to block an LGBTQ+ group from forming at its campus, Yeshiva University in New York City has opted to temporarily suspend all student groups.
“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,” the school’s newspaper, The Commentator reported.
The original dispute came about when a New York state court ordered Yeshiva to fully recognize an LGBTQ+ club known as the “Pride Alliance” on campus, the New York Post reported. Since Yeshiva is a religious institution and not a public university, it argued that it could not be forced to recognize something that was not in accordance with its religious values and mission. A New York judge disagreed, stating that as an educational institution the school could not rely on “religious liberty” to ban the club’s formation, according to the NY Post.
The university asked for a stay to put the New York decision on pause, but that motion was denied by the US Supreme Court Wednesday in a 5-4 vote.
JUST IN: By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court DENIES Yeshiva University’s emergency request to intervene now in a dispute over whether the university must recognize an LGBTQ student group. Roberts and Kavanaugh join with Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson. https://t.co/tSYEcHHAZR pic.twitter.com/ptI8nF6NEa
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) September 14, 2022
Reaction to the university’s decision has been met with confusion and frustration from student leaders.
“We were not expecting the university to take this drastic measure, and have not received any guidance about how we are to proceed with approving clubs, or having student council events,” Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) President Baruch Lerman stated according to The Commentator.
Former student and plaintiff in the case against the university, Tai Miller, reacted to the club suspension announcement on Twitter, stating that the university’s decision to cancel all groups rather than work with one LGBTQ+ support group was reminiscent of the reactions in the South to court-ordered desegregation.
University President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman stated that Yeshiva simply seeks that same right of self-determination that every faith-based university in the country has to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, “to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition.” (RELATED: Christian School Sued For Allegedly Refusing To Hire LGBTQ Teachers)
“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 unshakable, we continue to extend our hand in invitation to work together to create a more inclusive campus life consistent with our Torah values,” he concluded.