Jewish Queer Youth praises YU pride ruling as 'victory for human dignity'

“The ruling is a victory for human dignity, mental health and safety on campus,” said Rachael Fried, executive director of JQY and a YU alum.

 Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women, on 34th and Lexington. The all-male campus counterpart is in Morningside Heights. (photo credit: JULIA GERGELY/JTA)
Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women, on 34th and Lexington. The all-male campus counterpart is in Morningside Heights.
(photo credit: JULIA GERGELY/JTA)

Jewish Queer Youth (JQY), a nonprofit that supports and empowers LGBTQ youth in the Orthodox Jewish community praised Tuesday’s ruling by the New York State Supreme Court against Yeshiva University’s ban of the student group “Yeshiva University Pride Alliance.”

“The ruling is a victory for human dignity, mental health and safety on campus,” said Rachael Fried, executive director of JQY and a YU alum. “We could not be prouder of the heroic plaintiffs, and the hundreds of queer Yeshiva students (past and present) who have persevered in making Yeshiva University an even better Jewish institution.”

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.

"A victory for human dignity"

In April, the university’s official student newspaper reported that the YU Pride Alliance, a student and three alumni announced an LGBTQ discrimination lawsuit against the university after multiple attempts to form an LGBTQ+ club on campus were denied.

 People march during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Haifa, June 18, 2021.  (credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90) People march during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Haifa, June 18, 2021. (credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)

Founded in 2001, JQY is a nonprofit organization supporting and empowering LGBTQ+ youth in the Orthodox Jewish community. JQY fights to ensure the emotional and physical health and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals with a special focus on teens and young adults from Orthodox, Chasidic, and Sephardic communities.

Zvika Klein and Sarah Ben-Nun contributed to this report.