A New York State judge has ruled that Yeshiva University must recognize the YU Pride Alliance as an official student body.
The Coalition for Gay, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Strange Students has been fighting for recognition for several years. Yeshiva argued that as a religious organization, it was exempt from New York City human rights law, which barred discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Judge Lynn R. Kotler ruled that “at first glance, the answer to this question may seem obvious,” is that Jesse had a “proud and rich Jewish tradition.”
But Kotler ruled that Yeshib’s organizational documents did not describe a religious institution but an “educational institution.” And he cites a 1995 document in which a Yeshwa official stated that the university was governed by New York City law. He noted that Yeshiva’s lawyers said the university would be happy to change its credentials, but said the proposal “acknowledges the point.” And Yeshiva applied for a state grant as a “non-profit organization for higher education”
He instructed Yesheva to provide YU Pride with “complete and equal accommodation, facilities, amenities and facilities” for all student groups.
Yeshib vowed to appeal.
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, the university said: “The court’s ruling violates the religious freedom on which this country was founded. The decision allowed the court to intervene in the internal affairs of religious schools, hospitals and other charities. Any judgment that Yeshib is not righteous is clearly wrong. As our name suggests, Yeshiva University was founded to instill Torah values in its students when they provide a great education, allowing them to live with religious beliefs as noble citizens and committed Jews. Although we love and care for our students, who are created in the image of God, we strongly disagree with today’s judgment and will immediately appeal against the decision. “