Six New York Democrats Write Letter to President Berman Calling for Recognition of Campus LGBTQ Club
Six House Democrats representing New York sent a letter Friday to Yeshiva University President Ari Berman in support of YU’s LGBTQ students and calling for the university to recognize the YU Pride Alliance.
The six Democrats, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Rep. Mondaire Jones (NY-17) and Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), represent New York City, the Hudson Valley and upstate New York. Maloney’s and Espaillat’s districts include YU’s Wilf and Beren Campuses.
“We write to express our support for these students and for the rights of all LGBTQ+ students to equal treatment in New York State’s educational institutions,” stated the letter. “We urge the University to do everything possible to care for its LGBTQ+ students as full human beings in the campus community, including to recognize their student group.
“As members of Congress representing New York, we believe that the equal treatment of LGBTQ+ students and the provision of safe spaces for their well-being are consistent with established federal public policy. We know our concerns for the well-being of LGBTQ+ students at Yeshiva University are shared by many who care deeply about the institution—Jewish clergy, University faculty, alumni, current students, and local elected officials.”
The letter argued that the existence of a university LGBTQ club is critical for student mental health and pointed out that other religious universities in New York already have such clubs.
“Gay-straight alliances and student-led clubs that provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students to support each other and discuss issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are critical to student health and success,” stated the letter. “Other proudly religious universities in New York have navigated this terrain, recognizing LGBTQ+ student groups as a critical resource for their students; it is time for Yeshiva University to do the same.”
In recent weeks, multiple open letters from students, alumni and faculty from YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools have condemned the university’s policies and called on YU to recognize the club.
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