A lawsuit has been filed by LGBT students and alumni of Yeshiva University, (YU) a private modern Orthodox Jewish research university in New York City, alleging the university is violating their rights under NYC’s human rights law by denying the recognition of the universities LGBT group the YU Pride Alliance, as an official club
The university released the following statement on the lawsuit:
“At the heart of our Jewish values is love — love for God and love for each of His children,” the statement said. “Our LGBTQ+ students are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, family and friends. Our policies on harassment and discrimination against students on the basis of protected classifications including LGBTQ+ are strong and vigorously enforced. Our Torah-guided decision about this club in no way minimizes the care and sensitivity that we have for each of our students, nor the numerous steps the university has already taken.”
Yeshiva University is unique because it has had secular status since 1969 and should be treated like any other institution that would not be allowed to discriminate against a group of LGBT students. Without formal recognition from the university, the LGBT students cannot use campus facilities for meetings, receive funding and advertise on campus platforms.
According to a 1995 university memo obtained by one of the alumni and mentioned in the lawsuit, Yeshiva University received advice from a law firm that it was required to allow LGBTQ students to form a recognized student organization under the city’s human rights law, but it has not complied with that legal advice.