The university sent an unsigned email saying it will “hold off on all undergraduate club activities” while it “takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect (the university’s) religious freedom,” citing upcoming Jewish holidays, according to a copy of the email provided by the attorney.
That email was sent two days after the country’s highest Court declined in a 5-4 vote a request from the university to block a lower court order requiring it to recognize a “Pride Alliance” LGBTQ student club.
Katie Rosenfeld, the attorney representing the club, called the university’s latest move a “shameful tactic” that aims to pit students against their LGBTQ peers.
“The YU administration’s announcement today that it will cancel all student club activities rather than accept one LGBTQ peer support group on campus is a throwback to 50 years ago when the city of Jackson, Mississippi closed all public swimming pools rather than comply with court orders to desegregate,” Rosenfeld told CNN in a statement.
“The Pride Alliance seeks a safe space on campus, nothing more,” the attorney added.
It is not clear from the announcement how long undergraduate club activities will be placed on hold and if the decision will be revisited.
CNN has reached out to Yeshiva University for comment.
Rabbi Ari Berman, the institution’s president, released an online statement Thursday in response to the court ruling, saying that, “Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition.”
“Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right of self-determination.”
In its unsigned order earlier in the week, the Supreme Court noted the that the New York state courts had yet to issue a final order in the case and that the university could return to the Supreme Court after the state courts have acted.
Lawyers for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing Yeshiva, have also said that the lower court’s order is an “unprecedented” intrusion into the university’s religious beliefs and a clear violation of Yeshiva’s First Amendment rights.