Judge rules Yeshiva University must recognize LGBT student group

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The New York County Supreme Court mandated Tuesday that Yeshiva University (YU) in New York City must recognize the YU Pride Alliance, an LGBT club on campus.

Judge Lynn Kotler ruled Tuesday that because the Modern Orthodox institution is chartered as a non-religious organization, YU must comply with the New York City Human Rights Law and “immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges afforded to all other student groups 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 because of the members’ sexual orientation or gender and/or YU Pride Alliance’s status, mission, and/or activities on behalf of LGBTQ students.”

The judge also argued that because “Yeshiva University is not a ‘religious corporation,’” it cannot ban a student group based on Jewish beliefs.

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New York State Supreme Court Building in Foley Square, New York City.

New York State Supreme Court Building in Foley Square, New York City.
(joe daniel price via Getty Images)

Legal disputes over LGBT issues at YU have been going on at least since 2020 when seven student activists filed a complaint 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 ruling, telling Fox News Digital that the school will appeal the decision because “the court’s ruling violates the religious liberty upon which this country was founded.”

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

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

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

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

New York City Mayor Eric Adams waves a pride flag duringthe 30th annual Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival in Queens, New York on June 5, 2022. 

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

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

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