Religious university cancels all extracurriculars instead of allowing LGBTQ group on campus
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CNN News reported that in an email, New York-based Yeshiva University notified students that they would be pulling all undergraduate club activities to ‘take steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect (the university's) religious freedom’.
The email comes just days after the Supreme Court refused to block a state court ruling forcing the university to recognise the ‘Pride Alliance’ LGBTQI+ student club on campus.
But Yeshiva University, which labels itself a ‘deeply religious university’ said that it could not comply with the order as it violates ‘religious beliefs about how to form its undergraduate students in Torah values’, as per The Washington Post.
The court also advised that the university would have to continue the legal battle in state court if they refused to recognise the student club formally.
However, the case could potentially return to the Supreme Court even after the New York state court's ruling.
Katie Rosenfeld, who is representing ‘Pride Alliance’ slammed Yeshiva University’s ‘shameful tactic’ against its queer students.
She told CNN in a statement: "The YU administration's announcement today that it will cancel all student club activities rather than accept one LGBTQ peer support group on campus 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.
"The Pride Alliance seeks a safe space on campus, nothing more.”
The club also argued that while the university welcomes students of all religious backgrounds, the same freedoms aren’t extended to the LGBTQI+ community.
According to The Washington Post, in their filing to the high court, the group stated: “This ruling does not touch the University’s well-established right to express to all students its sincerely held beliefs about Torah values and sexual orientation.
“It may not deny certain students access to the non-religious resources it offers the entire student community on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Last week, Yeshiva University President Rabbi Ari Berman issued a statement revealing that the school would continue to fight the court’s decision.
He said: “Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition. Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right of self-determination.”