By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
New York’s Yeshiva University and an LGBTQ student club reached a compromise after the university lost a bid to have the US Supreme Court block a court order that requires the school to recognize that club.
The pride group extended the compromise after the school said it would put all undergraduate club activities on hold while it took steps to “follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect (the university’s) religious freedom.” The university also cited upcoming Jewish holidays as part of its reasoning to pause club activities.
On Wednesday, YU Pride Alliance said it would voluntarily agree to a non-legally binding “stay” or pause of a court order requiring Yeshiva University to provide the LGBTQ student club the same resources as it allots to other groups on campus.
The university said it appreciated the offered gesture, and that it looks “forward to it as an opportunity to resume the discussions we had begun, and which were halted” amid the court case.
The Supreme Court last week declined the university’s request to block the lower court order to recognize the club, but noted that New York state courts had yet to issue a final order in the case and that Yeshiva could return to the Supreme Court after New York courts have acted.
Lawyers for the pride group called the decision to compromise “painful and difficult.”
“We are agreeing to this stay while the case moves through the New York courts because we do not want YU to punish our fellow by ending all student activities while it circumvents its responsibilities,” the attorneys’ statement said. “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.”
From its announcement earlier this month, it wasn’t clear how long the institution planned to keep undergraduate club activities on hold.
“It has been our plan to resume these (student club) 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,” the university said in a statement. “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.”
Rabbi Ari Berman, the institution’s president, had said in a statement after the court ruling that, “Every faith-based university in the country has the right to work with its students, including its LGBTQ students, to establish the clubs, places and spaces that fit within its faith tradition.”
“Yeshiva University simply seeks that same right of self-determination,” statement added.
YU Pride Alliance said it has gained tremendous support following the latest incidents.
“We are grateful beyond words for the support we have received from over 1,000 members of the YU community and over 200 YU faculty members who have signed letters urging YU to allow our club, as well as from our rabbis, from our faculty and teachers, from our elected officials, and from strangers around the world.”
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CNN’s Kiely Westhoff and Ariane DeVogue contributed to this report.