New York's Yeshiva University halts student clubs in dispute over LGBTQ group

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Yeshiva University in New York City, New York, the United States, on March 4, 2020.
David Dee Delgado / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFPYeshiva University in New York City, New York, the United States, on March 4, 2020.

LGBTQ group's lawyer blasts decision as 'shameful tactic'

Yeshiva University, ordered by a judge to formally recognize an LGBTQ student group even as the Jewish school in New York City argues that doing so would violate its religious values, on Friday announced that it halted the activities of all its undergraduate student clubs as it plans its next steps.

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The US school's announcement came two days after the Supreme Court refused to block New York state judge Lynn Kotler's ruling in June that the university is subject to a city anti-discrimination law and must recognize the club 'YU Pride Alliance.' 

Citing upcoming Jewish holidays, Yeshiva said in an email to students that "the university will 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."

Katie Rosenfeld, a lawyer for YU Pride Alliance, said in a statement she is confident that "students will see through this shameful tactic and stand together in community."

Rosenfeld called the university's move to cancel all student club activities rather than accept one LGBTQ+ group on campus "a throwback to 50 years ago when the city of Jackson, Mississippi closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with court orders to desegregate."

Yeshiva did not specify the steps it planned to take.

The Supreme Court's order, in a 5-4 decision with four conservative justices dissenting, said the school could ask New York courts to expedite its appeal and seek relief from them, then return to the justices if its requests were denied. The high court cited "at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief."

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