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Canadian law school approved despite plan enforce ban on ‘gay intimacy’

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The B.C. government has approved the creation of a new law school at Trinity Western University in Langley B.C., despite concerns from gay rights advocates over its plans to enforce a policy prohibiting “gay intimacy” among staff and students.

Trinity Western University

Trinity Western University

The private, faith-based university received approval Wednesday from the Ministry of Advanced Education, two days after it won preliminary approval from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

The school requires all students, staff and faculty to sign a covenant agreeing to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Trinity Western University has argued that students choose to adhere to the policy when they apply.

Clayton Ruby, a Toronto-based lawyer said the school’s policy is “a simple act of discrimination against gays and lesbians,” and threatened to file a lawsuit if the school received final approval from the B.C. government.

On Tuesday, Justin Trottier at the Centre For Inquiry Canada said he was worried the university’s religious views would mean the new law school would be a less welcoming environment for LGBT students and would end up producing lawyers with an anti-gay bias.

Criminal defense lawyer Eric Gottardi said that as a private institution that students choose to apply to, the policy isn’t strictly unconstitutional.

“But people go to law school, I think, to think very liberally about rights, and civil rights, and certainly you can talk in one breath about the freedom of religion, but [also] in the Charter is the protection of equality rights,” said Gottardi.

“What exactly are they going to be teaching about Section 15 [equality rights] of the Charter at Trinity Western law school?”, questioned Gottardi.

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Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk said in a statement the proposed law school has successfully undergone a two-stage assessment as part of the approval process.

“With the preliminary approval of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Review of the Degree Quality Assessment Board on the quality of the program, the Ministry will now review the proposed degree,” said Virk.

“As the Minister of Advanced Education, once I have studied both reviews, I will be able to make a final determination,” he said.

Trinity Western University maintains a satellite campus in Bellingham, Wash., where students are required to comply with the school’s gay intimacy ban.

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33 more reader comments:

  1. >:c

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:47am
  2. I wouldn’t attend a school that tried to pry its way into my bedroom. This is a school that will produce the next generation of anti LGBT judges. SMH.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:48am
  3. Missed irony?

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:49am
  4. Why go to law school if they’re teaching against human rights. What happened to section 15 of the Charter!? They’re anti-gay policy is a reason why people fight for laws, so that they don’t get discriminated! Totally backwards

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:50am
  5. Well said Andy! What a slap in our faces!

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:50am
  6. Ughh it really is!

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 3:32am
  7. I would go to a Real Law School, not there!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:55am
  8. Yeah this isn’t allowed in Canada under section 15, these people will get in trouble legally. I’m Canadian

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:57am
  9. how redneck of them :/

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 12:58am
  10. Isn’t all intimacy gay?

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:01am
  11. No different that Liberty University (and others like it) in the US. This is just the first in Canada. Mind you, as several leading lawyers have noted, the market for grads of this school will be limited.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:06am
  12. I wont go to that school

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:11am
  13. This is BS!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:15am
  14. I wouldn’t hire a graduate of this school.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:15am
  15. Yes, but all I ever hear about our Neighbor to The North is how tolerant they are and this includes BC! “Move to Canada! They love everyone!”. Okay, they love Hockey, Molson, and Beiber, but NOT my favorite folks?! Nope would NOT study an ANT HILL at this College until they let you guys be who you are! Besides, don’t they know that a GAY LAWYER, is a HAPPY Lawyer?! As always you guys have my eternal support! MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:20am
  16. Not living in Canada, I can’t really speak to the constitutionality or legality of the proposed rules. However, it is clearly discriminatory – and raises significant questions about who will attend and what they will bring to the table as future attorneys.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:22am
  17. So much for law school. Lawyers can be pretty stupid in lacking common sense.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:58am
  18. In British Columbia?

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:01am
  19. Oh yes. BC is the fundamentalist heartland in Canada, once you leave Vancouver/Lower Mainland.

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:06am
  20. I know 2 people who went to Trinity Western. It’s a rare fully private school and even rarer religious school among Canadian universities. Surprisingly good curriculum though. Schools like BYU and Notre Dame have similar restrictions. Trinity just stands out because it goes against the grain so much here in Canada.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:10am
  21. I really hope they do not get their final approval. It seems very wrong to me that a law school states: “The school requires all students, staff and faculty to sign a covenant agreeing to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Especially when you consider that they are in Canada & have a satellite campus in Bellingham Washington, both places where marriage equality, is the LAW! I am a strong believer in the separation of church & state. But given the nonsense I have been reading in the past few years, I have to wonder if perhaps we should also be keeping religion totally separate from education.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:28am
  22. and is het intimacy banned too..if so, ok, if not boycott the swine

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:31am
  23. they dont know how to spread democracy,thats whaty the courts are for,freedome and democracy.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:32am
  24. Ugh, it’s spread to Canada

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:38am
  25. I thought Canada was better than that

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:00am
  26. This is simple. If you’re gay, don’t go to this University! Gay marriage is legal in Canada, so if you have a same-sex partner, you can marry them and not worry. Go to any university and you won’t be disrespected

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:50am
  27. Yes let us legislate what touching is good and what is bad!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 3:23am
  28. Boo!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 5:15am
  29. good luck with that!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 5:32am
  30. male students should be required to sex one another to prevent rape, pregnancy and anti female aggression.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:19am
  31. Pathetic

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 7:09am
  32. fuck!!!!!! Canada really? Why you do dis?

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 7:15am
  33. good-they will be so busy suing eachother, it won’t really matter.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 2:22pm