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At Yeshiva University, Students Prepare To March For LGBTQ Rights

At Yeshiva University, Students Prepare To March For LGBTQ Rights

Molly Meisels, a student at Yeshiva University, wanted to invite assemblymember Deborah Glick to talk about her experience as New York’s first openly gay legislator to the school’s College Democrats club. The university administration had other ideas.

Two weeks before the event took place, Meisels said she was called into an office and asked not to advertise the event in any way as LGBTQ-related and not to ask the assemblymember LGBTQ-related questions. “They told me that someone from higher up in the university was trying to stop the event from happening,” she said.

Think Orthodox Students Don’t Want To Talk LGBTQ Issues? Not Anymore At YU

In a rare, student-led effort to address LGBTQ issues, dozens of Yeshiva University students crowded a classroom in the university’s Midtown campus on Tuesday evening for an event on topics such as coming out as gay on campus, creating social change and becoming allies to queer peers.

Guest speaker Ben Katz, a Yeshiva University graduate and Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, discussed his work at Shoval, an Israeli organization that promotes dialogue and education on sexual orientation and gender identity in religious schools and communities.

The fact that the event was taking place at all, and the high turnout, was deemed by many of the attendees as impressive. The Modern Orthodox university, just like much of the Orthodox world, historically has had a reputation for its unease with LGBTQ issues.