Yeshiva University Suspends All Campus Clubs Rather Than Recognizing LGBTQ Club

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Yeshiva University, forcing them to recognize an LGBTQ club on campus prompting the school to suspend all clubs while it seeks appeal in the New York State court system.

The case has been a whirlwind over the past few months as New York County Supreme Court Judge Lynn Kotler ruled, on June 14, that Yeshiva University must go against their religious beliefs to recognize an LGBTQ club on their campus.

Kotler wrote, “Yeshiva’s organizing documents do not expressly indicate that Yeshiva has a religious purpose. Rather, Yeshiva organized itself as an ‘education corporation’ and for educational purposes, exclusively.”

After losing an initial appeal, the Jewish University appealed to SCOTUS. Yeshiva describes itself as a “deeply religious Jewish University” as it states on the school website that they are wholly committed to Torah values as stated by their motto: “Torah Umadda.” As such, Yeshiva asked the court “to reconsider whether religious protections in the First Amendment can be used to override the city’s human rights law, which Judge Kotler used as a basis for her June decision.”

Initially SCOTUS sided with the school as Justice Sotomayor temporarily blocked Kotler’s ruling allowing Yeshiva to bar the club while the case was appealed. The block did not last long as SCOTUS then ruled that the case did not belong with SCOTUS while there were still avenues to pursue in New York.

“The application is denied because it appears that applicants have at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief” the court said.

Yeshiva is continuing to fight the case in the New York court system, but in the meantime the school made a decision of its own. The school decided to suspend all clubs on campus while the case is settled in court rather than recognizing a club that goes against the school’s religion as well as its own motto.