Gay Group Sues Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish institution in New York, has been sued over its refusal to offer student housing to a lesbian couple.
The suit, filed in late June in New York State Supreme Court, is believed to be one of the first of its kind to charge discrimination in student housing based on marital status, according to the independent Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.
The suit was filed against Yeshiva and its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, by the Einstein Assn. of Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals on behalf of students Sara Levin, 26, and Maggie Jones, 23. The women said that because they could not obtain student housing with their respective female partners, they were forced to find more expensive housing some distance from the school.
Their suit calls for a reversal of Yeshiva’s student housing policy and an unspecified financial payment for emotional distress and the extra housing and commuting costs incurred.
The medical school offers housing to all single students and to married students and their spouses and children. Same-sex couples are denied the housing on the grounds that they are not legally married.
Although Yeshiva University is Orthodox Jewish in orientation, it is officially secular. As such, the school has been forced under the law to accept gay and lesbian groups on campus, despite the vehement objections of some Orthodox students and faculty who object to homosexuality on religious grounds.