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Yeshiva University Loses Motion on LGBTQ Club

(Jewish Link) New York’s appellate court on August 23 denied Yeshiva University’s motion to appeal an application for interim relief regarding the case of Yeshiva University’s Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ club. The initial ruling that YU must allow the club to form came this past June, when the court concluded that the university had denied the plaintiff’s rights. The decision came after the YU Pride Alliance, represented by three university alumni and a then-student sued YU, as well as President Ari Berman and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Dr. Chaim Nissel, in April of 2021.    

 

Yeshiva University is represented by Becket Law, the firm that in 2014 represented Hobby Lobby at the U.S. Supreme Court in its successful attempt to cite religious freedom as a reason to decline coverage of certain types of birth control for their employees’ health care plans.

 

Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, provided the following statement via email to The Jewish Link: “The New York Court’s ruling to deny our stay reignites significant historical concerns about government intervention in Jewish education. It allows secular courts to intrude on the internal matters of religious schools, hospitals, and many other faith-based organizations. The court’s ruling claims that Yeshiva University is not religious and that religious education is not at the heart of what it does. That is obviously wrong. 

 

“Yeshiva was founded specifically to impart Torah values to its students while also providing an outstanding education, allowing them to robustly live out their faith as committed Jews and as noble citizens. Yeshiva loves and cares for all its students and firmly disagrees with yesterday’s ruling. We will continue to fight for Yeshiva’s First Amendment right to form its students in Torah values, and we will seek relief at the New York Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court,” he wrote.

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