Saturday, January 19, 2013

Canadian Law Deans Oppose New Christian Law School Because of Its Bar On Same-Sex Relationships

In Canada last June, Trinity Western University, a Christian liberal arts university in British Columbia, proposed to start a new law school. This week, the Vancouver Sun and the National Post report that deans of other Canadian law schools are opposing the proposal because of its Biblical-based "community covenant" which requires staff, faculty and students to refrain from homosexual relationships (as well as gossip, lying, smoking and consuming alcohol).  In a letter to the Federation of Canadian Law Societies from the Council of Canadian Law Deans written last November, but only made public recently, the deans say:
This is a matter of great concern for all members. … Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unlawful in Canada and fundamentally at odds with the core values of all Canadian law schools.
The deans also question whether true academic freedom exists at the university because of the community covenant. However supporters of the university say that the deans have an anti-religious bias. In 2001, the Canadian Supreme Court in Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers, upheld  the right of Trinity Western's teacher training program to apply the community covenant to bar homosexual relationships.