A New York appeals court has ruled that Yeshiva University must formally recognize an LGBTQ student group, rejecting the Jewish school's claims that doing so would violate its religious rights and values, Reuters reported.
The ruling by the Appellate Division in Manhattan was handed down on Thursday, according to the report.
The court upheld a judge's ruling that the school did not qualify as a "religious corporation," which would exempt it from prohibitions against discrimination by a place or provider of public accommodation under the New York City Human Rights Law.
That law bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, age, national origin and some other factors.
The unanimous four-judge panel also said requiring Yeshiva University to recognize the club, YU Pride Alliance, did not violate its rights under the US Constitution's First Amendment to the free exercise of religion, saying the law was "neutral and generally applicable."
In June, the New York County Supreme Court ruled that Yeshiva University must recognize YU Pride Alliance.
In September, the Supreme Court ruled that Yeshiva University is required for the time being to officially recognize YU Pride Alliance.
The sides then agreed to delay the club’s recognition while the school filed another appeal.
In October, Yeshiva University announced the creation of a new LGBTQ student group, the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club, which would provide a space for LGBTQ students at the Jewish university to support one another “within the Torah framework”.
The YU Pride Alliance rejected the move, calling the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club’s launch a “desperate stunt” by Yeshiva University officials to distract from calls for change from donors, alumni, faculty and the broader community. The group said the new club is a “sham” because it was not formed or led by students and does not have any members.
Responding to Thursday’s ruling, Katie Rosenfeld, a lawyer for YU Pride Alliance, said in a statement the ruling affirmed that the school "cannot discriminate against its LGBTQ+ students by continuing its refusal to recognize the YU Pride Alliance."
Yeshiva University said it would "continue on appeal to defend against the claim that we are not a religious institution."
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)