October 1, 2022
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US Supreme Court Overturns Lawsuit Between Jewish University and LGBT+ Group

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a ruling in favor of a Jewish university that denied membership to a gay, bisexual and transgender group.

Yeshiva University of New York filed an urgent Supreme Court appeal after a judge ordered it to register a student club called the “Yeshiva Pride Alliance” when the school returns in 2022, which would give the group access to certain rooms and services.

On Friday, the Supreme Court sided with the institution, but has now overturned that decision on the grounds that the university had not exhausted all its legal options at the New York state level.

If the university doesn’t win the case to that extent, “it could go back to this court,” he adds, adding that the legal battle is far from over.

Four of the nine members of the US Supreme Court dissented from the decision.

“The First Amendment guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion and … prohibits the state from imposing its own interpretation of holy writ,” the conservative justices charge. “Even if the Constitution is controversial, it is our duty to protect it,” they say.

Founded in the 19th century to “encourage the study of the Talmud,” Yeshiva University has about 5,000 students and offers degrees in a variety of secular fields such as biology, psychology, and accounting.

In 2018, LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) students formed the YU Pride Alliance group and asked for formal authorization to organize conferences and meetings.

Faced with the establishment’s refusal, they opened a case. A New York judge found them correct in the name of a local law prohibiting discrimination. The university then appealed to the Supreme Court.

“As a deeply religious Jewish university, Yeshiva cannot implement this order because it would violate their true religious beliefs about how to educate their students in Torah values,” he said in his appeal.

The conflict is part of a broader debate in the United States about the balance between respect for religious freedoms and nondiscrimination policies.

The Supreme Court, which underwent a major overhaul under former President Donald Trump’s administration, has made more conservative decisions in recent months.