Religious University Takes State Mandate To Supreme Court

The Yeshiva University has filed an emergency Petition of Certiorari in The Supreme Court of the United States requesting the land’s highest court settle a dispute as to whether the Orthodox Jewish school, as a religious organization, must recognize a “Pride Alliance” as a bona fide on-campus group.

The issue stems from a lawsuit filed earlier this year by current and former Yeshiva students who support the Pride Alliance. That lawsuit which claimed the LGBTQ students were being discriminated against was decided by a New York City judge who said the University had no religious standing.

In her decision siding with the students, State Supreme Court Justice Lynn Kotler relied on amendments to Yeshiva’s 1967 charter declaring that it was “an educational corporation under the education law of the State of New York … organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes.”

She added that, in addition to Yeshiva’s failure to organize for expressly “religious purposes” as required under New York Law, the university confers “many secular multidisciplinary degrees,” making education Yeshiva’s primary purpose.

Kotler issued an immediate and permanent injunction that the university recognizes the group as it does the other 100 or so on-campus groups which the University is now appealing to the SCOTUS.

The Emergency application for the SCOTUS to immediately hear the issue was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the handler of court matters within the Second Circuit. She can rule on the application or refer it to the full court.

The Pride Alliance founder and Vice President Beth Weiss explained they only wanted to advertise events such as pizza parties and movie nights and that it was never about promoting homosexual sex.

“All we wanted to do is find a way we can give support to each other in a way all other students had access to do — except for the queer students,” said Weiss.

Agudath Israel of America tweeted “Yeshiva University, and all yeshivas and religious schools, must be free to operate in accordance with their firmly held religious beliefs,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel. “We hope that the Supreme Court will recognize and affirm this fundamental right.”