NEW YORK, NY — (12-17-22) — New York Appeals Court rules that Yeshiva University must recognize LGBTQ club.  The ruling by the Appellate Division in Manhattan hands the LGBTQ students of the university a win for LGBTQ Rights, while handing a setback for the university in its fight to avoid recognizing the YU Pride Alliance.

Last Thursday the New York Court of Appeals ruled that Yeshiva University must formally recognize an LGBTQ student group, rejecting the Jewish school’s claims that doing so would violate its religious beliefs.

The court upheld a judge’s ruling that the Yeshiva University did not qualify as a “religious corporation,” which would exempt it from prohibitions against discrimination by a place or provider of public accommodation under the New York City Human Rights Law.

That law bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, age, national origin and some other factors.

The unanimous four-judge panel also said requiring the Yeshiva University to recognize the YU Pride Alliance club did not violate its rights under the US Constitution’s First Amendment to the free exercise of religion, saying the law was “neutral and generally applicable.”

In a statement, Katie Rosenfeld, a lawyer for YU Pride Alliance, said the ruling affirmed that the school “cannot discriminate against its LGBTQ+ students by continuing its refusal to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.”

Yeshiva, a Modern Orthodox Jewish university based in Manhattan, in a statement said it would “continue on appeal to defend against the claim that we are not a religious institution.”

YU Pride Alliance agreed in September to hold off on forcing Yeshiva to recognize it while the school pursued its appeals after the school briefly halted all student club activities.

It did so after the US Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision earlier that month declined to block the New York judge’s June ruling requiring it to recognize the club.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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