Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canadian Court OK's Ontario's Refusal To Accredit Christian Law School

In Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, (CA ON, June 29, 2016), a 3-judge panel of the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada to deny accreditation to Trinity Western Law School because its religiously-grounded Community Covenant requires all students to "refrain from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."  Finding that "the part of TWU’s Community Covenant in issue in this appeal is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community," the Court held that the Law Society "did not violate its duty of state neutrality by concluding that the public interest in ensuring equal access to the profession justified a degree of interference with the appellants’ religious freedoms." In reaching that conclusion, the Court relied in part on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1983 Bob Jones University decision. Similar battles over accreditation of the Christian law school are in progress in the school's home province of British Columbia, as well as in Nova Scotia.  CBC News reports on yesterday's decision. [Thanks to Paul de Mello Jnr. for the lead.]