SCOTUS allows Yeshiva University to ban LGBTQ club – for now

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor permitted Yeshiva University refuses to recognize an LGBT student club that the Orthodox Jewish school said violates their religious values.

The stay – a court ruling stopping a lawsuit – problematic von Sotomayor is temporarily blocking a judge’s decision ordering the New York City-based school to allow the group. Yeshiva’s request for appointment went to Sotomayor because she handles emergency calls from a geographic region that includes New York.

According to reports, the dispute began last year SCOTUSblog“When a group of students and alumni filed a lawsuit alleging Yeshiva’s refusal to recognize an LGBTQ advocacy and support club violated New York City human rights law.”

The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in places open to the public – so-called “public accommodations”.

The court agreed with the students and ordered the university to recognize the YU Pride Alliance Club. The court rejected Yeshiva’s argument that the law does not apply because the university is a religious institution rather than a public residence.

Higher courts in New York refused to stay the trial court’s decision, so Yeshiva took the matter to the US Supreme Court. The university argued that its decision should be protected under the First Amendment’s religious liberty clause.

“We are grateful that Judge Sotomayor stepped into this case to protect yeshiva’s religious freedom,” said Eric Baxter, a yeshiva attorney with the rights group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. said in an opinion.

Katherine Rosenfeld, attorney for the club, said The club remains committed to creating a safe space on the university campus for LGBT students “to build community and support one another without being discriminated against.”

Corresponding The New York TimesYeshiva President Rabbi Ari Berman said the school wants students of all sexual orientations and gender identities to feel comfortable on its campus, but also wants to maintain its identity as an institution grounded in modern Orthodox Judaism.

Sotomayor’s ruling suggests the Supreme Court could take up the university’s case to make a final decision. In recent years there has been a peak in petitioners making claims under the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause success rate at the Supreme Court. SCOTUS allows Yeshiva University to ban LGBTQ club – for now

Laura Coffey

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