The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1,500 Orthodox rabbis, today commended Yeshiva University (YU) for courageously defending religious liberty in the face of a highly-publicized lawsuit filed by LGBTQ activists. YU has refused to grant official recognition to “Pride Alliance,” an undergraduate club. It affirmed that forced recognition of such a group would be an unconstitutional impingement upon the religious character of the university.
“As a graduate of Yeshiva University, I am extremely gratified to see it taking this principled stand,” said CJV Rabbinic Circle Chairman Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer. “The plaintiffs—none of whom are current students or are in any way part of YU—seek to impose their own values upon the university and cancel its right to religious liberty, free expression, and its Torah mandate. There are nearly 4,000 other degree-granting academic institutions in the U.S. where the plaintiffs could find what they seek. Their quest to force a personal agenda upon YU would inflict irreparable harm to our alma mater. It’s dishonorable and condemnable in the harshest of terms.”
CJV likened the lawsuit to current litigation against the federal government seeking to deny scientific research funding for Christian universities. In that litigation, the plaintiffs seek to remove the religious exemption in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in order to position schools that frown upon open sexual expression as violators of federal civil rights law. While the premise and defendants are different in the two cases, CJV argued that the underlying motivation of the plaintiffs is precisely the same.
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“It should be obvious that any institution of higher learning—whether Jewish or otherwise—which hews to traditional Biblical guidance, should not be expected to endorse or promote alternative sexuality,” added Rabbi Ze’ev Smason, CJV Midwestern Regional Vice President. “Both cases are attempts to deny neutral federal higher education funding from institutions that adhere to traditional religious beliefs. This must be swiftly and vociferously denounced by every person who still cherishes what has rightly been termed our ‘first freedom.’”