‘Conflict of Rights’: Christian University Takes Battle For Law School to B.C. Supreme Court

Trinity Western University is asking B.C. Supreme Court to overturn the society’s decision to deny accreditation to graduates.

The cases pit religious freedoms against same-sex equality rights, with each side arguing discrimination. Boonstra said Trinity’s covenant is central to the private university’s identity as an evangelical Christian institution.  It enrols about 4,000 students annually. They are not screened for sexual orientation but must abide by the code of conduct. It asks students to make a choice. If they come, they should understand what being part of an evangelical Christian educational institution is about, to make sure they understand what they are getting into.”

 

VANCOUVER — A Christian university that forbids sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage says the Law Society of British Columbia is violating the right to religious freedom of those who would graduate from its proposed law school.

Trinity Western University is asking B.C. Supreme Court to overturn the society’s decision to deny accreditation to graduates because of its “community covenant,” which prohibits sex outside marriage between a man and a woman.

The society accredited the proposed law school in April 2014, but reversed that decision in October after a vote by its members.

The B.C. government later revoked its support, barring the school from enrolling students.

“I expect over the next week you’ll hear a lot about conflict of rights,” TWU’s lawyer, Kevin Boonstra, said in court Monday.

“If anything … the membership of the law society shows that if anybody’s rights need protection, it’s religious minorities.”

The judicial review, scheduled for five days, is the third time the university has fought provincial law societies in court for refusing accreditation.

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