Five Orthodox Jewish students who attend Yale University are being penalized for objecting, on religious grounds, to mandated residence requirements on campus. The students, Lisa Friedman, Jeremy Hershman, Elisha Hack, Batsheva Greer and Rachel Wohlgelernter, do not want to live in dorms where the sexes are integrated and where bathrooms are shared by men and women; they also object to such sexual messages as condom machines and “safe sex” literature in the dorms. Yale officials have instructed the students that the only way they can bypass living on campus is to buy their way out: the students have been told that if they pay the room and board fee (nearly $7,000), they can live at home.
Catholic League president William Donohue outlined his concerns today:
“The Catholic League has been asked to review the situation confronting five Orthodox Jewish students at Yale University. It is our conviction that these students cannot be expected to maintain their religious commitments while being subjected to an environment that is so demonstrably antithetical to their beliefs. The degree of accommodation that they are requesting is reasonable and without burden to others.
“To force students to violate their deeply-held beliefs for the sake of satisfying Yale’s sexually-correct living arrangements is unconscionable. It is also difficult to see how the much-vaunted goal of diversity can be accomplished when pluralism is so summarily abridged.
“The Catholic League is asking Yale administrators to reconsider their decision. In the event they do not, the league is prepared to join with others in taking whatever steps are necessary to secure justice.”