NEW YORK — An LGBTQ rights group offered to defund all clubs at New York’s Yeshiva University on Tuesday after the organization suspended student activities because it did not have to recognize an LGBTQ group on campus.
Jewish Queer Youth, which sponsors Yeshiva University’s YU Pride Alliance, said the university’s decision to cancel all clubs “puts a target on the backs of undocumented undergraduates.”
Jewish Queer Youth said it would fund all student clubs at the university in response to the ruling, which came after the Supreme Court ruled last week that the university must recognize the Pride Alliance. ‘University.
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“YU suspends all clubs because of gay students. Therefore, JQY will fund all clubs through gay students,” said Jewish Queer Youth Executive Director Rachael Fried.
Groups can apply for up to $500 per event, and Jewish Queer Youth has pledged to raise $10,000 to continue fundraising activities on campus.
The Jewish Queer Youth funding proposal was first reported by Yeshiva University’s independent student newspaper. Commentator.
Some of the other campus associations affected by the closure focus on politics, Shakespeare and zoology.
Jewish Queer Youth is a non-profit organization that supports young LGBTQ Jews, particularly those from the Orthodox, Hasidic, Sephardic, and Mizrahi communities. It has supported the Yeshiva University Pride Alliance since its inception in 2019.
The recognition would secure funding for the LGBTQ club and other benefits afforded to other student unions.
An online petition in support of Yeshiva University’s LGBTQ community has garnered 74 pages of signatures from students, faculty and alumni.
Yeshiva University announced the closure of the clubs in an email to all undergraduate students on Friday.
The flagship university for the Modern-Orthodox community did not say how long the suspension would last, but said it would use the time to prepare for another action at the US Supreme Court.
Students pay $150 to $200 per semester to participate in various club activities as part of their tuition. At least one student’s request to not have to pay those fees because the clubs are suspended has been denied.
The legal battle between the university and the Pride group began in 2020 when LGBTQ student activists filed a complaint with the city’s Commission on Human Rights, accusing the university of discrimination, before filing a lawsuit against the university last year.
The legal dispute centers on whether the university is a secular institution that must abide by non-discrimination laws or a religious institution covered by 1st Amendment protections for free expression of beliefs.
Yeshiva University says recognizing the union violates its religious beliefs. Same-sex relationships and marriage are generally prohibited in the Orthodox Jewish community.
In June, a New York judge ruled that the university must recognize the union under a municipal human rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The university appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the New York court’s decision. The court rejected the petition last week, meaning the university would have to recognize the union, at least temporarily.
The Supreme Court said the university must exhaust other remedies before hearing the case. The decision was made for procedural reasons and not for more important religious issues.
The judges who opposed the decision said the university could go back to the Supreme Court and “probably win” if it appealed. Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, said the school would “follow their instructions.”
The university announced the closure of the clubs the next day.
The court is largely conservative and has previously ruled in favor of religious groups.
The university, which has been forced by courts in the past to extend rights to gay and lesbian students, says it tries to strike a balance between welcoming LGBTQ students and refusing to recognize the Pride Union.
“Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including LGBTQ students, to create communities, spaces and spaces consistent with their religious traditions,” Berman said Thursday. “Yeshiva University is simply seeking the same self-determination.”
“At the same time, because our commitment and love for our LGBTQ students is unwavering, we continue to offer an invitation to work together to create a campus life that is more inclusive and aligned with Torah values,” he said.