By: Jonathan Levin  | 

 YU Pride Alliance Gives Yeshiva University Stay to End Club Freeze

The YU Pride Alliance acquiesced to Yeshiva University’s request for a stay on a court ruling ordering it to recognize the club Wednesday. 

The Alliance’s decision, sent in a press release to The Commentator, was made to prevent YU’s continued freeze of club activities, which the university announced to students Friday.

“We are agreeing to this stay while the case moves through the New York courts,” said the Alliance, “because we do not want YU to punish our fellow students by ending all student activities while it circumvents its responsibilities. YU is attempting to hold all of its students hostage while it deploys manipulative legal tactics, all in an effort to avoid treating our club equally.”

The university announced that it would freeze club activities Friday, days after the U.S. Supreme Court denied, on procedural grounds, YU’s request for a stay on a June decision ordering recognition of the alliance. Friday’s decision also froze student council projects, including two planned events earlier this week.

In their press release, the Alliance expressed hurt over Friday’s decision.

“We are saddened and hurt,” said the Alliance, “that the YU administration believes that a group of LGBTQ+ students having a safe place on campus for discussion and support around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity is so objectionable that it would end all students’ clubs and pit students against each other rather than tolerate our presence. 

“YU publicly states that its ‘love for our LGBTQ students’ is ‘unshakable,’ but the administration’s actions seem intended to sow anger and resentment on campus against us.”

The YU Pride Alliance plans to continue its lawsuit in the New York appellate courts.

In a statement sent to The Commentator Wednesday afternoon, Yeshiva University welcomed the Alliance’s decision and hoped that it would create an opportunity for dialogue. 

“We appreciate the gesture offered by the YU Pride Alliance of a ‘stay,’ and we look forward to it as an opportunity to resume the discussions we had begun, and which were halted by the lawsuit,” a YU spokesperson told The Commentator. 

“We welcome and care deeply for all our students, including our LGBTQ community, and we remain committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue about how best to ensure an inclusive campus for all students in accordance with our religious beliefs.”

A New York State appellate court said Tuesday that it would expedite its reconsideration of YU’s first attempt for a stay, which a New York Appellate Division Court denied Aug. 23. The university was set to appear in court Sept. 26. It is unclear whether YU will still seek a stay from the court.

YU had been seeking a stay since a New York County Supreme Court judge ordered YU to recognize the alliance in June.

The university told The Commentator that it plans to resume club activities after the Chagim.

“With respect to YU’s student clubs, it has been our plan to resume these activities very soon after the Jewish holidays and, with those holidays beginning in just a few days, we continue to expect to do so at that time.”

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Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include Yeshiva University’s response, which was sent to The Commentator Wednesday afternoon

Ariel Kahan contributed to this story