Lawyers for America’s oldest Jewish university on Monday asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a case pitting its understanding of the Hebrew scriptures against a state court order requiring the school to grant official recognition to an on-campus gay pride group.
Yeshiva University, whose main campus is on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, asked the High Court to stay lower court orders that favored the YU Pride Alliance, a group of gay students in their quest for freedom. official status at the age of 134. school.
“The Torah guides everything we do at Yeshiva — from how we educate students to how we run our dining halls to how we organize our campus,” said Rabbi Ari Berman, president of the Yeshiva. Yeshiva University, in a statement. “We deeply care about and welcome all of our students, including our LGBTQ students, and continue to be engaged in productive dialogue with our rabbis, faculty, and students about how we apply our Torah values to create an inclusive campus environment. We only ask the government to allow us the freedom to apply the Torah in accordance with our values.
The Torah is made up of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, which correspond to the first five books of the Christian Old Testament, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The school said it provides support services for LGBTQ students and has prohibited bullying and discrimination against its gay students. But officials say they are drawing a line at the YU Pride Alliance’s insistence that Yeshiva University is not a religious institution.
According to an appeal filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a district-based public interest law firm, Yeshiva “offers too many secular degrees to qualify for the law’s express exemptions for religious organizations.”
The appeal said the trial court determined that the school had “no right to control how its religious beliefs and values are interpreted or applied on its campuses,” despite a school requirement that all undergraduate students “are required to engage in intense religious studies, with many receiving up to four and a half hours of Talmud instruction each day.
According to Becket’s vice president and senior attorney, Eric Baxter, “When secular authorities try to tell Yeshiva University that it’s not religious, you know something has gone terribly wrong. The First Amendment protects Yeshiva’s right to practice his faith. We ask the Supreme Court to correct this obvious error.
The Washington Times has contacted the YU Pride Alliance for comment.