LGBTQ group at Yeshiva University offers compromise to resume clubs

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LGBTQ group at Yeshiva University offers compromise to resume clubs

Yeshiva University students fighting to create an LGBTQ group on Wednesday said they’ll stand down on seeking recognition from the school to avoid upending campus life.

University officials had decided to suspend all student groups on Friday after the Supreme Court denied their attempt not to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.

The students, in a statement Wednesday, expressed sadness that their group is “so objectionable” to the university that it would pause all student clubs — and “pit students against each other rather than tolerate our presence.”

“We are agreeing to this stay while the case moves through the New York courts because we do not want YU to punish our fellow students by ending all student activities while it circumvents its responsibilities,” read the statement in the independent student newspaper YU Commentator.

“This was a painful and difficult decision,” the statement added.

Four current and former students with the YU Pride Alliance filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last April, after the college denied multiple requests to register the group as a student club.

A state judge ruled in the group’s favor in June, finding the school must formally register the group.

Yeshiva University student LGBT group YU Pride Alliance offered to stand down on seeking recognition from the college so that campus clubs can resume.
Yeshiva University student LGBT group YU Pride Alliance offered to stand down on seeking recognition from the college so that campus clubs can resume.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The dispute briefly escalated to the Supreme Court last month, before it was sent back down to the state courts to be heard on its merits.

The school then said in a letter following the decision that considering the upcoming Jewish high holidays, it would “hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.”

The university plans to resume student clubs “very soon after the Jewish holidays,” which begin with the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah on Sunday night, officials said Wednesday, without providing a precise date.

Yeshiva University suspended all student groups after the Supreme Court decided to not block the New York state order to force the school to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.
Yeshiva University suspended all student groups after the Supreme Court decided to not block the New York state order to force the school to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.
Facebook/YU Pride Alliance

A spokesperson for YU said school officials are “optimistic” about reaching an agreement to support gay students and maintain religious freedom.

“We look forward to (the stay) as an opportunity to resume the discussions we had begun, and which were halted by the lawsuit,” said the spokesperson.

“We welcome and care deeply for all our students, including our LGBTQ community, and we remain committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue about how best to ensure an inclusive campus for all students in accordance with our religious beliefs,” he added.

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