On June 16, 2022, The New York Times reported that a trial court had ruled against Yeshiva University in a case involving a conflict between LGBT activism and religious liberty.
According to The Times, a group of students sued the University in 2021 to challenge its unwillingness to allow an LGBT student group to form on campus. The students claimed that the University’s action violated the New York City Human Rights Law, which prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. For its part, the University asserted that it is a religious organization, and that it is therefore exempt from the City’s Human Rights Law.
Justice Lynn Kotler ruled that Yeshiva University’s charter identified it as an educational corporation, not a religious corporation. The University has stated that it intends to appeal this ruling and to seek a stay. The University’s attorney, Eric Baxter of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, argued that “‘courts don’t get to quibble over whether you said enough in your article of incorporation about your religious character. . . That is contrary to clearly established case law that says courts don’t get to second-guess a religious institution’s religious activities when its religious characteristics are plain and obvious.’” The University encourages its students to study religion in Israel and requires male students to study the Torah daily.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks Yeshiva University for refusing to back down to judicial efforts to erode its Orthodox Jewish identity.