The legal battle between Trinity Western University and the Law Society of British Columbia entered a new chapter on Wednesday (June 1) in the B.C. Court of Appeals.
The society is appealing a Supreme Court of B.C. decision that would allow graduates of a proposed TWU law school admission to the society.
The law society’s members voted against recognizing the school in 2015 after the society initially approved the school in April 2014.
According to a factum filed by the society, approval of a TWU law school “would impede equal access to the legal profession without discrimination.”
Amy Robertson, TWU spokesperson, said the case is a matter of freedom of religion.
“From the school’s perspective, the B.C. Law Society is not happy with the school’s community covenant.”
A covenant must be signed by all students and faculty at TWU, promising not to engage in any sex outside of a heterosexual marriage. It also includes a rule against abortions.
Critics say this covenant discriminates against homosexual staff and students, but Robertson says the covenant does not bar them from attending or working at the school.
“LGBT students are already welcome at Trinity Western, if they choose to be part of our learning community. There are several gay students who can and do attend Trinity Western and I know from conversations with people in the TWU community, they find it a safe and welcoming place,” said Robertson.
Robertson said that TWU will want to take this case (or one of the two similar cases in Nova Scotia and Ontario) to the Supreme Court of Canada, if this B.C. Court of Appeals case does not rule in their favour.