US: Sotomayor lets Jewish university bar LGBT student club
'We are grateful that Justice Sotomayor stepped in to protect Yeshiva’s religious liberty in this case'
United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday permitted Yeshiva University to refuse to recognize an LGBT student club, temporarily blocking a judge's ruling ordering it to allow the group.
The Jewish school in New York City has said the club violates its religious values.
Sotomayor put on hold, for now, the judge's ruling that a city anti-discrimination law required Yeshiva University to recognize YU Pride Alliance as a student club. At the same time, the school pursues an appeal in a lower court. The liberal justice handles some instances for the court from a group of states, including New York.
Sotomayor's issuing of the judge's injunction will remain pending a further order from herself or the entire Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority.
Yeshiva's student club application process was set to end on Monday, and the school said that absent the court's intervention, it would be forced to recognize YU Pride Alliance in violation of its religious values.
"We are grateful that Justice Sotomayor stepped in to protect Yeshiva’s religious liberty in this case," Eric Baxter, a lawyer for Yeshiva at the conservative legal group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.
Katherine Rosenfeld, a lawyer for the club, said it will await a final order from the court and remains committed to creating a safe space for LGBT students on the university's campus "to build community and support one another without being discriminated against."
YU Pride Alliance formed unofficially as a group in 2018. Still, Yeshiva determined that granting it official status would be "inconsistent with the school's Torah values and the religious environment it seeks to maintain."