Trinity Western Wins Victory In Fight To Open Christian Law School, Limits On Accrediting Called ‘Unreasonable’

British Columbia Appeals Court ruled unanimously that Trinity Western University’s religious freedoms would be impaired and this far outweighs the minimal effect accreditation would have on gay and lesbian rights.

“A society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society — one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal,” says the 66-page judgment. “This case demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”

 

VANCOUVER — A decisive legal victory in British Columbia has put an evangelical Christian university one step closer in its bid to secure recognition for its proposed law school.

The Appeal Court of B.C. released a decision in favour of Trinity Western University on Tuesday, describing efforts by B.C.’s law society to deny accreditation to the school’s future lawyers as “unreasonable.”

The legal dispute centres around the university’s community covenant that bans its students from having sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage.

In a unanimous decision, a panel of five judges said the negative impact on Trinity Western’s religious freedoms would be severe and far outweigh the minimal effect accreditation would have on gay and lesbian rights.

“A society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society — one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal,” says the 66-page judgment.

“This case demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”

The decision upholds last year’s B.C. Supreme Court ruling against the Law Society of B.C. and its move to prevent the school’s future alumni from working in the province as lawyers.

The law society has argued that the controversial code of conduct discriminates against gays and lesbians hoping to enter the legal profession.

The Appeal Court decision found that denying approval to Trinity Western would not enhance access to law school for members of the LGBTQ community and therefore wouldn’t help the law society meet its public-interest objectives.

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