B.C. law society to hold binding referendum on controversial Trinity Western University School of Law

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The Law Society of British Columbia’s governing council, known as the Benchers, will hold a binding referendum on Trinity Western University (TWU) Law School.

The referendum will be held in order to decide on the future of the law program at Trinity Western, which is a faith-based academic institution.

Trinity Western Law School has been at the centre of controversy because it wants to ban students and staff from engaging in gay sex due to the religious nature of the institution.

The school’s Community Covenant asks students to, “voluntary abstain from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” According to the TWU School of Law FAQ page, all students and staff have agreed to abide by the Covenant, “which includes a wide variety of guidelines for life as a member of [TWU’s] Christian centred community.”

Last year, the Evangelical Christian school was granted approval by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education to have a school of law.

The Benchers voted to allow TWU’s school of law graduates to practice in B.C. in April 2014.

This decision resulted in disappointment in many lawyers who found TWU’s Community Covenant to be discriminatory.

InJune, the general membership of the Law Society of B.C. decided in a vote of 3,210 to 968 to request the Benchers to change their decision around their approval of TWU’s law school.

The Benchers of the Law Society will vote at the binding referendum, which must take place before October 30.

Feature Image: Via Shutterstock 

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Simran Singh is a Contributor at Vancity Buzz. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. She is a big fan of coffee, writing and exploring Vancouver. Send a story idea her way at simran@vancitybuzz.com
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