Zysman Hall at Yeshiva University in New York City
Zysman Hall at Yeshiva University. Via Beyond My Ken, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0

A private Jewish university in New York City is closing all campus clubs rather than letting one LGBTQ group meet.

Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish university with campuses in New York City, has opted to close every single campus club rather than recognize the Yeshiva University Pride Alliance, an unofficial LGBTQ campus club that hoped to gain official recognition from the school. 

Prompted by a surprising Supreme Court ruling in the pride group’s favor, sent the school back to the drawing board. And rather than simply allow the LGBTQ group on campus, they opted to shut down all campus clubs and meetups entirely.

Closing Time

The YU Pride Alliance simply wanted to be recognized by their school as an official student group, including all the rights and privileges that come along with that. But the school declined to recognize the group in an official capacity, arguing that same-sex relations are “inconsistent with its Torah values.” The group sued the school, arguing that they were being discriminated against. The school, however, says they have the final authority over their religious interpretations and teachings.

A New York state court agreed that the pride group was facing discrimination, and ruled that the school had to recognize them. The school refused to relent, and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. In an unexpected move, the Supreme Court handed down a surprising ruling; Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh sided with the Court’s liberal wing and kicked the case back to the lower courts, arguing that the school failed to exhaust all of their appeal options in the lower courts. Then, and only then, would the nation’s highest court consider hearing the case, and the prior ruling mandating that the school recognize the pride group would stand - for now. 

But rather than do what the court requested by exhausting all their options, the school simply decided to shutter all campus groups entirely, rather than officially acknowledge their LGBTQ students.

Freedom to Discriminate?

“Shameful” is how lawyers for the student group described the school’s decision. "Rather than accept one LGBTQ peer support group on campus,” they said, “ 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 school, however, asserts that they have every right to shutter every university club in lieu of a court win. “Yeshiva University President Rabbi Ari Berman explained in a statement that "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."

It seems unlikely that the case is fully closed here. But what do you think? At the heart of the case is a conflict between the rights of a private, religious university to enforce their religious text as they see fit, and the rights of students from a marginalized community to not be discriminated against by their own school.

Who should win?

34 comments

  1. Marilyn's Avatar Marilyn

    It's a private Jewish University with strict rules and regulations, which I'm sure students knew before they started school there. I do not agree with their position however they have a right to cancel all the clubs. The students have a right to go to a different University.

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    When those gay students went to officially form their club it must have been quite a surprise to them to realize that they had ACCIDENTALLY enrolled in a PRIVATE Jewish University with certain faith values that they now wanted to contravene after the fact.

    1. Donald G Magel's Avatar Donald G Magel

      Why go to a school that does not reflect the freedom you seek?

  1. Michael Burton's Avatar Michael Burton

    Hypocrites.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Exactly who are the hypocrites? The Supreme Court?

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    Those students had to know the stand of the school before they started attending there. Why they would want to start going to that school and then try to force the change is beyond me. As others have said, it must cost a nice penny to attend that school. Why would you want to give your money to support a school that does not agree with you?? Take your money to attend a school that would support you and you support them in return.

  1. Michael William Duley's Avatar Michael William Duley

    Restrictive groups are an issue in the world as a whole. Everyone knows it's morally wrong to treat anyone in this manner, it's deplorable. If you don't believe it's wrong you are also part of this problem facing the world everyday. It's called bigotry and hate and leads to violence against others. Based on this issue the violence will be against the LGBTQ+ community brought on by the Orthodox Jewish population. Another war brought about by human based religion tenant's. Instead of loving one another and understanding that we all just want acceptance as the Jews do in the world.

    1. Doctor Loyal's Avatar Doctor Loyal

      I guess I will respond where I made a point that splinter groups are unwanted when their raison d être is anathema to the University and the beliefs of the University.

      No problem, the University will drop their Faith-Based Heritage and insult the Founders, Staff, Students, and Alumni just to satisfy a splinter group that is diametrically and socially opposed to the basis for the founding of that University. Now, are the people on campus happy that a minute minority has caused the University to close all groups?

      Beating a dead horse obviously will not elicit any response from ones that have decided their way is the only way and refuse to work in harmony with others.

      1. Michael William Duley's Avatar Michael William Duley

        Thank you for proving my point on the inability of every religion to just love and accept every human in the world the way they are without conforming. May you be blessed by your faith of choice.

    2. Christopher Tracey Robertson's Avatar Christopher Tracey Robertson

      Please make sure to champion the Removal of All discrimination from All groups and All beliefs. Based on the logic of Anyone who has an issue with the decision at this University it's just the MORAL thing to do.

      That said, Here are some suggestions:

      Black Order (Satanist group) American Nazi Party Neo-Nazism groups Child pornography groups

      I am aware that there are groups for all sorts of things people believe. I choose to discriminate against groups that go against My Morals and Understanding what brings Negative Outcomes to People and Society.

      I'm positive that people discriminate against allowing certain groups into their homes.

      I'm not disillusioned by what's the true issue here.

      I clearly see between the smoke and mirrors.

      “This is a war and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place.” – Morpheus

    3. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      @Michael William Duley, I agree with you entirely.

  1. Robert Gagnon's Avatar Robert Gagnon

    I am sure it costs a good sum to go to that school. If I belonged to a group that was that unwanted I would take my tuition elsewhere. Sure, you can push your point and rights, but you are still unwanted and probably always will be. In the mean time every club and group member in the school has an attitude towards the cause of their groups termination. A rainbow target on every gays back at that school. Really? Is it worth it? From the sound of it they already had group meetings. They just had to take it to the courts to be officially recognized. Hopefully no one gets hurt over this so necessary recognition.

    1. Doctor Loyal's Avatar Doctor Loyal

      No problem, the University will drop their Faith-Based Heritage just to satisfy a splinter group that is diametrically and socially opposed to the basis for the founding of that University. Now, are the people on campus happy that a minute minority has caused the University to close all groups?

  1. Canadian Yankee's Avatar Canadian Yankee

    It is their university and it is there belief. Although I do not agree with their decision I do believe in their right to not provide space on campus for those who do not share their beliefs. I always wondered why people who do not share a beleif with the school choose to go their and demand special privilege.. I am not Catholic and I do not share their beliefs but I did go to the University of Dayton, a Marionist University, and lived by their rules. Were I not willing to do that I should have attended somewhere else.

  1. William Moses's Avatar William Moses

    I think the racially segregated swimming pools in Mississippi analogy is a pretty good one. I think you have to be a white supremacist to agree that closing all the swimming pools is the proper response to being forced to segregate them. How is this really any different? Various interpretations of the Bible yield various results. We can’t pick and choose what we want to enforce, or not enforce. Slaves were OK in the Bible, but not now. Racism was OK in the Bible, but not now. Homophobia was OK in the Bible, but now? Am I way off base here?

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      @William Moses, yes, you are. Slavery is not endorsed in the bible, it is simply accepted as a fact of life. Homophobia is also not endorsed in the Bible. While the homosexual behavior is condemned, eunuchs have always been around and never incurred punishment as long they were not practicing homosexuality. Eunuchs were not necessarily castrated men. There were many that today would be defined LGBTI.

  1. Alan Diamond's Avatar Alan Diamond

    They are welcome to keep their Bronze Age beliefs. But if they take any tax money,they are required to observe the laws of the land.

  1. John R's Avatar John R

    This story is intrinsically related to the one about American's turning from "Christianity"

    So much hypocrisy in the corrupted tax-free religionists. Which Christ did say would happen ... but it's still creepy and enraging to hear the pretenders carry on as if the Lord is their shepherd and they are so worshipful as they reflex immediately into condemning students rather than institutional power.

    In my entire life, the Right and its demonic followership have not ever one single solitary time been on the correct side of any issue of any subject. Always the wrong take, always. It's uncanny, really. Not a single time.

    I would guess they're wrong again.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    As the great philosopher Nietzsche said “where one can not live, one should pass by.” He also said “One is not converted to Catholicism, one has to be sick enough for it,”

    And the great Jewish philosopher (who was only Jewish due to the accident of birth) Groucho Marx is best known for having advised “I’d never belong to a club that would allow me to become a member.”

    Tribalism — based on fascism— will do to the USA what white Christian immigrants to North America tried to do to all of the inhabitants who were already living there.

    1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

      Friedrich Nietzsche, who went insane, calling anyone else "sick" is truly a case of the pot calling the kettle black and he can only be considered "a great philosopher" in a sick and confused world!!! One could much more truthfully say "One is not converted to Nietzscheanism or just agrees with it, but has to be sick enough for it". Nietzsche wrote that sick people should be given disgust by doctors for being a burden on the well and unworthy of life and yet himself went to an asylum for sick people!! How hypocritical and evidence of his "great thinking"!! Secondly, if Groucho Marx was "only accidentally Jewish" because of the "accident of birth", then all other Jews are "only accidentally Jewish" because of the "accident of their births" and there are no actual Jews!! How ridiculous!! Groucho's comment was about an elitist racist club excluding Jews and can't be legitimately or reasonably applied indiscriminately to meaning that he didn't want to be or consider himself a Jew or a member of the Jewish faith. Just being white and Christian can't be reasonably indiscriminately lumped in with wrongdoers among white Christians, either, who committed any crimes and sins against the inhabitants of the country who were already here, instead of doing unto them as we would want to have done unto us and loving our neighbors as ourselves, as Christ told us to do and which is the only true following of Jesus Christ.

  1. Kevin Joseph Kervick's Avatar Kevin Joseph Kervick

    Seems like a decision from integrity. Religious schools cannot acknowledge the normalcy of a dysfunctional movement that is made up of very disturbed (young) people who could benefit from psychotherapy instead of glorification of their identities, and remain truthful. The movement now includes sexual deviance like kink and polyamory, sadomasochism, and other unhealthful sexual practices that are still listed as disorders in the DSM. It also promotes the trans fad that we now know is a social contagion that has lead to the psychological betrayal and the mutilation of thousands of people for profit. Many of the trans-influenced are now suing their therapists and doctors for not helping them. Prominent clinics are closing. The cult-recovered should also sue the LGBTQ cult leaders and teachers who enabled their acting out of their disorders instead of guiding them to health. These sociopaths got rich by exploiting these kids for government funding, power, and prestige.

    Sounds like this Jewish school understands the plague. Good on them.

  1. Michael William Duley's Avatar Michael William Duley

    Restrictive groups are an issue in the world as a whole. Everyone knows it's morally wrong to treat anyone in this manner, it's deplorable. If you don't believe it's wrong you are also part of this problem facing the world everyday. It's called bigotry and hate and leads to violence against others. Based on this issue the violence will be against the LGBTQ+ community brought on by the Orthodox Jewish population. Another war brought about by human based religion tenant's. Instead of loving one another and understanding that we all just want acceptance as the Jews do in the world.

    1. Doctor Loyal's Avatar Doctor Loyal

      Have you studied the Torah? In effect it seems that you are demanding that a religious group be labeled as racist, bigoted, and deplorable based on their Religion. To accept a LGB alphabet soup which is in direct opposition to their faith is not narrow minded and exclusionary. Would you tell all Islamic / Muslim groups that their Religion is bigoted, and deplorable based on their Religion?

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    One thing about gays is that they do not have off springs which in religion means that the church will not grow. Any church that does not grow goes out of business. I think that one of my towns churches had that problem it went out of business.

    1. Pastor George Day's Avatar Pastor George Day

      @Richard Lee Cornell, how about Metropolitan Community Church? :-)

  1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

    So the Gay club thinks it’s great to ruin it for everyone…that’s just so great, thanks a lot

  1. Jonathon G Elliott Sr's Avatar Jonathon G Elliott Sr

    This is conflicting, on one hand the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but it also says we should obey laws of the land. Me personally,I also agree with the Bible that it's not my place to judge them.

  1. Clayton Lee Pratt's Avatar Clayton Lee Pratt

    Right smart move! Good riddance to their bigoted club. I'm proud of them for checking out and showing their true color's.

  1. Thomas L Williams's Avatar Thomas L Williams

    The problem it is a sin the lifestyle their living.Christ clearly explained that in a manner everyone would understand.He forgave you for your sins and said clearly Go an sin no more your sins are forgiven.But if you keep committing the same sins,you need to check and see if you are a child of God or sons an daughters of Satan.Dont be mad cause no one wants to except your life style choice.An please don't say God made me this way,it's a choice to chose being gay.You made that with the free will he gives us .Have a blessed day God can forgive you as long as you sin no more.

    1. A James Baird's Avatar A James Baird

      If it's a choice to choose to be Gay, then at what point in your life did you decide to turn your back on your own homosexual desires, in order to follow a lifestyle of heterosexuality?

      Acceptance and Love. Peace Out!

  1. Norma Battes's Avatar Norma Battes

    "Jewish University Closes All Clubs Rather Than Allow Pride Group to Meet" All religious universities should be closed if one doesn't align with humanity.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Hey Norma, "Aligning with humanity" often means aligning with genocide.

      By the way, that's not your real name is it?

  1. Christopher Tracey Robertson's Avatar Christopher Tracey Robertson

    Please make sure to champion the Removal of All discrimination from All groups and All beliefs. Based on the logic of Anyone who has an issue with the decision at this University it's just the MORAL thing to do.

    That said, Here are some suggestions:

    Black Order (Satanist group) American Nazi Party Neo-Nazism groups Child pornography groups

    I am aware that there are groups for all sorts of things people believe. I choose to discriminate against groups that go against My Morals and Understanding what brings Negative Outcomes to People and Society.

    I'm positive that people discriminate against allowing certain groups into their homes.

    I'm not disillusioned by what's the true issue here.

    I clearly see between the smoke and mirrors.

    “This is a war and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place.” – Morpheus

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    "Marginalized" community? Nonsense.

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