- Yeshiva University said it would “hold back” all student club activities after being ordered to accept an LGBTQ group.
- YU Pride Alliance representatives said the move was akin to efforts by southern states to resist desegregation.
- Current and former students wrote a letter to YU management calling on the school to reconsider.
Yeshiva University in New York has chosen to cancel all student club activities after the United States Supreme Court ordered the school to recognize an LGBTQ club for the time being.
The university wrote in a E-mail to students on Friday that he “would suspend all undergraduate club activities while he immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the United States Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.”
The decision comes after a state court ordered the school to immediately recognize the group of students, CBS News reported. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, lifted a temporary stay of a court order requiring the university to recognize the group, YU Pride Alliance, according to CBS.
The majority — which included Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as well as the three liberal justices — wrote that the school could return to state court to argue for an expedited review or temporary repair. If the state court refuses, Yeshiva can return to the high court, the majority wrote, per The New York Times.
YU Pride Alliance representatives said in a statement that the university’s decision to cancel all clubs instead of accepting their own is “a throwback to 50 years ago, when the city of Jackson, Mississippi, closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with desegregation court orders.”
“The Pride Alliance seeks a safe space on campus, nothing more. By shutting down all club activities, the YU administration is attempting to divide the student body and pit students against their LGBT peers. We believe that the YU students will see through this disgraceful tactic and stay together in the community,” the statement shared on Twitter read.
Rabbi Ari Berman, president of the university, said in a statement following the decision that the university intended to follow the Supreme Court’s suggestions and return to state court, CBS reported.
“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 in the statement, according to the Times. “Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right to self-determination.”
Meanwhile, an open letter to university leaders in support of Pride Alliance has garnered hundreds of signatures from current and former students.
“As Jews, we have been shocked to see Torah values deployed to deprive our fellow Jews of safety and support within our community. LGBTQ+ Jews are our family members, friends, neighbors , rabbis, teachers and students. Some of us are LGBTQ+ Jews ourselves. And we are all saddened and discouraged by the stances taken recently by our Yeshiva university,” said the letter bed.