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Agudath Israel Files Amicus Brief in YU Pride Alliance v. Yeshiva University

Today, Agudath Israel of America filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief asking the US Supreme Court to issue an emergency stay pending appeal, to prevent Yeshiva University from being compelled to recognize an LGBTQ+ club.

The case, YU Pride Alliance v. Yeshiva University, pits four students and alumni, who attended Yeshiva University (YU) well aware of its religious character, against their school. YU Pride claims that Yeshiva University must accept its club under the New York City Humans Rights Law (NYCHRL) – widely considered one of the most sweeping such protection laws in the country. Yeshiva University counters that a religious exemption, which is found in the actual law, and is protected by the First Amendment, means it cannot be forced to run its private school against its own religious convictions. YU Pride was successful in its legal bid at the lower court in New York, hence the need for an emergency appeal now to the Supreme Court.

Agudath Israel, in its brief, supports Yeshiva University’s efforts to maintain its religious integrity and autonomy. Moreover, the brief details how an impingement on Yeshiva University’s right to block an objectionable club here can have negative repercussions toward it and other Jewish schools’ autonomy to hire and fire educators, and other internal, religious-based determinations under NYCHRL and other laws.

Agudath Israel thanks Ronald Coleman, Partner, at the Dhillon Law Group, who authored the brief, with assistance from Agudath Israel’s Avrohom Weinstock, under an accelerated briefing schedule. Agudath Israel also thanks Jeffrey Zuckerman, Managing Partner at the Zuckerman Law Group, for his input.

“Yeshiva University, and all yeshivas and religious schools, must be free to operate in accordance with their firmly held religious beliefs,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president. “We hope that the Supreme Court will recognize and affirm this fundamental right.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

10 Responses

  1. If “Yeshiva” university had any “deeply held religious beliefs on this topic, they would have done what they needed to do to expunge this club years ago. Even at the cost of losing university recognition etc. Their bankrupt ideology does not deserve to smugly take credit for taking a “stance”, now that they feel it’s politically expedient.

  2. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects religious communities from government interference in the affairs of their faith.

    The so-called Pride Alliance knows full well that YU is an Orthodox institution. People who make trouble like this do so because they want the world to conform to the distortions they’ve become. They are the proverbial sun around whom the planets must orbit.

    Let them go to Chovevei Torah-Hebrew Institute in Riverdale. There, they will find homosexual Open Orthodox “rabbis” as well as a transgender rebbetzin and a crossdressing ex-chasid. Those צדיקים can all do a מצווה טאַנץ on the Torah. (One can only imagine the punishment the בית דין של מעלה is going to mete out on Avi Weiss for having wrought such destruction among our People.)

    I know these people. They are passive-aggressive narcissists with pretenses of progressivity and social justice. In truth, they are militant reformers who want traditional Judaism to drop down dead.

  3. “Yeshiva University counters that a religious exemption, which is found in the actual law”
    That’s an example of biased reporting.
    We may not like the implications but the NYCHRL is the law in NYC.
    Now, whether other legal rights, such as those enumerated in the First Amendment, supersede NYCHRL is the question.
    But we don’t get to say the NYCHRL is not an “actual law.”

  4. I don’t say this lightly ….this group should drop dead! Worst of the worst . Trying to undermine the religious society ! They should GTH

  5. I hope and believe YU will prevail based on the merits of their case. However, these extremely negative comments about other Jews are cheap shots and uncalled for.

  6. Judge Kotler was right, and the appeal brief is wrong. It seems like they never even bothered reading the decision! If they had, they would have known that its entire basis is that YU is not a religious institution, and therefore is not entitled to religious exemptions.

    That’s right, YU is not a religious institution. Decades ago it severed its connection to RIETS and publicly declared that it was a secular institution. For decades it has repeated this declaration, which is written into its foundational documents. And for decades frum members of the YU community have denounced this decision and compared it to כתבו לכם על קרן השור. So now Judge Kotler told them you can’t have it both ways. Either allow the club, or do teshuvah, renounce your secular status, reunite with RIETS and amend your charter and bylaws to declare that you are an Orthodox Jewish religious institution, and come back to court for your exemption. Make up your mind.

  7. I am with Nebuch who is anything but a NEBUCH…..they need to be removed from our society and their parents if they can’t remove themselves…..what a waste of human life, a tainted mind and a devilish soul

  8. At the very least these deviants should live and let live. Do your thing and we’ll leave you alone, but why force us to accept this madness?

  9. Check out this court case document if you want to see actual facts. YU is clearly in the wrong here. Imagine if they did not officially recognize an African American/black Jewish student group due to their “religious beliefs”? Doesn’t that sound pretty messed up?

    YU can’t use the claim that they are a religious institution, and YWN’s article emphasizing that is pointless, because the university was declared secular in order to receive millions in funding — “While YU seeks to
    provides undergraduates with a dual curriculum of Jewish scholarship and academics,
    it is bound by the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), just like any other university in
    the City. Fifty years ago, YU elected to register as a non-sectarian corporation to benefit from
    government funding that was unavailable to entities organized as religious corporations.” (This is in the linked document.)

    At the end of the day, we are all Jews, and this is blatant discrimination from YU against its Jewish students. YU officially recognizing YU Pride isn’t “forcing them to accept” (to reference what chaya said) these students’ identities. It’s just giving them equal rights, equal opportunity–and that is what the U.S. is all about. YU’s resistance, and the disgusting comments on this article saying things like “what a waste of human life” and “deviants,” only reinforce the idea that there is no place for these kinds of Jews in Judaism.

    It is silly that you and YU are driving Jews away because they are not similar enough to you. If anything is “passive-aggressive narcissism,” like Ari stated, it is that kind of behavior.

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