The ultra-conservative Supreme Court of the United States handed its first victory to a Jewish university on Friday, September 9, after it refused to grant student union status to a group of young gay, bisexual and transgender students.
New York’s Yeshiva University moved to court in an emergency after a judge ordered the student union “Yeshiva Pride Alliance” to register at the start of the 2022 academic year to provide access to certain rooms and services. “As a deeply religious Jewish university, Yeshiva cannot comply with this order because it violates its true religious beliefs on the Torah values that must be transmitted to students.”, she pleaded on appeal. Promoters of the association have responded that Yeshiva University offers many secular teachings and welcomes non-Jewish students. “She cannot deny some students access to non-religious resources because of their sexual orientation.”They argued.
On Friday evening, the six-out-of-nine conservative Supreme Court handed establishment leaders a landslide victory by suspending the New York judge’s decision pending a detailed review of the case. It does not justify its decision and does not indicate which judges support it, as is required for hasty decisions.
Freedom of religion and principle of non-discrimination
Yeshiva University was founded in the late 19th century “To promote the study of the Talmud”, welcomes around 5,000 students and offers diplomas in various subjects such as biology, psychology or accounting. In 2018, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) students formed the YU Pride Alliance group and sought to become a school-recognized association.
Their conflict is part of a broader debate in the United States about the balance between respect for religious liberties and nondiscrimination policies. The Supreme Court, deeply reshuffled by former President Donald Trump, has issued several rulings in recent months in favor of religious groups.
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