Trinity Western University law school approved despite gay sex ban

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The Law Society of British Columbia has voted against a motion that would have prevented Trinity Western University from opening its law school.

Early this morning, the society carried a vote that resulted in a 20-6 decision against the motion to prevent its graduates from practicing law in the province.

The controversy first began in December 2013 when the provincial government approved the establishment of the law school at the Christian faith-based institution based in Langley. It caught the attention of LGBT advocates, including lawyers, who have ever since been campaigning against the new law school.

Trinity Western’s student handbook includes a covenant that all students are required to sign and abide to. It reads:

In keeping with biblical and TWU ideals, community members voluntarily abstain from
the following actions… [that include] sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.

…Further, according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.

Criticism comes against the university and its approved law school as its student conduct policies are discriminatory. Violations could result in discipline and even the expulsion of students and employees. Its faith-based policies could also add a new dimension to legal education that goes against the basic principles of non-discrimination and universal equality.

For instance, the policies greatly contrast with the University of British Columbia which actively promotes and advocates for diversity and LGBT equality.

“The proposed law school raises key questions about important rights and freedoms, including equality and freedom of religion,” said UBC Law Associate Professor Margot Young in January 2014. “The reports published so far have failed to identify the range of interests at stake and have not considered the particular statutory responsibilities of the Law Society to protect rights and freedoms and to act in the public interest. We urge a full, public, participatory process for considering these critical questions in relation to the proposed new law school.”

 

Featured Image: gay men on bench via Shutterstock

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