Thursday, September 22, 2022

Court Orders Jewish University to Recognize LGBTQ

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Yeshiva University, America's only orthodox Jewish university, has been sued by Yeshiva University gay students for refusing to host---or sanction an LGBTQ club.

The Courts have ruled that YU is a non-religious organization and is therefore subject to the New York City Human Rights Law. "As such it must immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full equal accommodations" the ruling reads.

It's stunning that the court would rule against a religious organization with a ruling that flies in the face of  George Washington's understanding of the Constitution---a document created under his supervision and leadership.

Be informed, not misled.

In the beginning.

Back in June of this year, the Jerusalem Post reported "The New York County Court ruled that New York's Yeshiva University is required to grant recognition to its LGBTQ club, the YU Pride Alliance."

The Post said, "Judge Lynn Kotler ruled on Tuesday that YU, as a non-religious organization, is subject to the New York City Human Rights Law and directed it to 'immediately grant plaintiff YU Pride Alliance the full equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges afforded to all other student groups at Yeshiva University.' In the decision, the judge determined that 'Yeshiva University is not a ‘religious corporation,' and therefore cannot ban a certain group because of the Jewish faith."

YU argued that, despite not defining itself as a religious corporation in official documents, the fact that it teaches intense religious studies, focuses on the Jewish faith, and has a "deeply religious character as a Jewish university" should allow it to be treated as a religious entity and its decision to reject the YU Pride Alliance should be protected by the First Amendment.

But Judge Lynn Kotler ordered that the defendants, Yeshiva University and President Ari Berman, be “permanently restrained from continuing their refusal to officially recognize the YU Pride Alliance as a student organization because of the members’ sexual orientation or gender and/or YU Pride Alliance’s status, mission, and/or activities on behalf of LGBTQ students.”

The YU Pride Alliance consisted of one student and three alumni.

In response, the University argued that the court's ruling violated the religious liberty upon which this country was founded. And this decision permits courts to interfere in the internal affairs of religious schools, hospitals, and other charitable organizations. "Any ruling" they claimed "that Yeshiva is not religious is wrong."

Ultimately a court order was issued to force the University to act against its religious beliefs---then a hold was placed on the court order.

Supreme Court weighs in.

NBC reports that this issue has now been taken under consideration by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Wednesday, by a 5-4 vote, the justices lifted the temporary hold again forcing the Jewish University to recognize the LGBTQ organization even as the legal fight in New York continues.

NBC explains the vote: "Two conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the court's three liberal justices to form a majority."

NBC also said, "A New York state trial in June ordered Yeshiva to recognize the club. Yeshiva asked the US Supreme Court to intervene. On Wednesday the justices voted 5-4 to hold off until the university has exhausted all avenues at the state level. The vote was widely reported as a defeat for Yeshiva."

Now Yeshiva University has suspended all student clubs after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Jewish school last week to recognize an LGBTQ group as an official campus club.

Was it a defeat? Were they really "siding" with the liberals?

The big news

The New York Post got it. They said this:

 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito did something Wednesday justices almost never do. He announced how the court would rule in a future case. 

Alito made the stunning pronouncement that if Yeshiva University loses to the YU Pride Alliance in New York state courts, the Supreme Court will “likely” take the case, and “Yeshiva would likely win.”

That is the big news, not the court’s procedural decision to postpone intervening until Yeshiva has exhausted state-court remedies. Alito’s prediction should buoy the hopes of believers everywhere, no matter their religion.

Christianity is 2,000 years old, and Jewish teachings are even older. LGBTQ advocates are demanding these faiths change their tenets overnight to accommodate gay rights, and many politicians agree. The court’s view is: not so fast.

This university is fighting to stay true to its timeless Torah values.

And they're standing on firm ground in the fight for religious freedom.

George Washington and the Jews.

Star Parker published this yesterday:

In August of 1790, President George Washington visited Rhode Island, which a few months earlier had ratified the U.S. Constitution.

Among those who welcomed the new president was the Hebrew Congregation of Rhode Island, founded in 1763. Now known as the Touro Synagogue, it is the oldest standing synagogue in the nation.

The synagogue’s representative wrote to the president, expressing gratitude that Jews in Rhode Island, in the newly formed United States of America, lived, in contrast to their co-religionists in other parts of the world, with “invaluable rights as free citizens.”

Washington wrote to the congregation, “May the Children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

A little more than a year later, the guarantee of religious freedom would be formally enshrined in the Constitution with the ratification of the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment saying, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

She concluded, "Now, in a sad stroke of irony, the religious freedom of observant Jews is being threatened not only by "other inhabitants" but by their own co-religionists."

This is true in Christian churches as well.

The enemy within.

In reading Parker's comments, I was reminded of the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero who is considered by most historians the last significant voice, the last defender of the Roman Republic. 

Finally, Cicero had become the lonely voice for the policies and principles of the Republic. The government was corrupt. Lawlessness ruled.

To silence his voice Mark Antony murdered Cicero beheading him in 43 BC. 

Cicero had become a "domestic terrorist" because he spoke against the forces that were undermining the very foundations of the Republic. 

He was famous for his unparalleled powers of speech. His death ushered in the Roman Empire. His informed voice was silenced.

He had infamously said this:

“A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, and he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

Mark Antony is lurking.

The Religious Exemption Accountability Project, an advocacy group, is suing to overturn exemptions. The Biden administration has also launched civil-rights investigations against several of the colleges.

These Christian colleges and universities are siding with Yeshiva. Their fates are linked. At stake is the freedom to teach religious beliefs on a campus that puts them into practice.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.