SCOTUS allows Jewish university to deny LGBTQ+ recognition

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court just issued a decision that has the LGBTQ+ community up in arms.

That’s because, according to Fox News, the justices are allowing Yeshiva University to deny recognition to YU Pride Alliance, a student LGBTQ+ group. 

The lawsuit

The lawsuit stems from Yeshiva University’s refusal to recognize YU Pride Alliance as a student group.

YU Pride Alliance has claimed that, by doing so, Yeshiva University has violated New York’s human rights law.

Yeshiva University, however, has argued otherwise. Being a Jewish university, the school has argued that its refusal to recognize the group is based on its religious beliefs, and, accordingly, that this fact, under the First Amendment, exempts the university from being forced by the government to follow this particular law.

The Lower court ruling

The case made it to the New York County Supreme Court in June, and, there, YU Pride won.

Judge Lynn Kotler found that because Yeshiva University is chartered as a non-religious organization, it must follow New York’s human rights law.

Accordingly, Kotler ordered Yeshiva University to “immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges afforded to all other student groups at Yeshiva University.”

Kotler also ordered the university to be “permanently restrained from continuing their refusal to officially recognize the YU Pride Alliance as a student organization because of the members’ sexual orientation or gender and/or YU Pride Alliance’s status, mission, and/or activities on behalf of LGBTQ students.”

YU’s appeal to SCOTUS

Yeshiva University responded to Kotler’s ruling by filing an application for emergency relief with the U.S. Supreme Court. The university asked the court to temporarily halt the New York County Supreme Court’s ruling while the matter is appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted that request on Friday night.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the ruling, which allows the university to continue denying recognition of YU Pride Alliance. Sotomayor, though, also suggested that another order may be forthcoming on the matter, but it is unclear what it would contain.

This could be shaping up to be an important First Amendment case.

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