In 2014, the following Law Societies voted not to allow Trinity Western University law students to practice law in the provinces of BC, Nova Scotia and Ontario. All this has happened before the university has even started their school of Law, and the minister of Advanced Education has rescinded the approval for the School of Law. To practice law in a province, a lawyer must be a member in good standing with that province’s law society. Members of these law societies voted (in BC’s case there was another vote) to deny students membership into these law societies. Not because their education was sub-par, or that they would be sub-par lawyers; but because they would have received the law degree from TWU.
Why did this happen? TWU a Christian University has a covenant that those who attend this private university sign. Part of this covenant deals with “healthy sexuality” where you are to abide by the policy of sex between a man and woman who are married to each other. This policy also applies to those living in a common law situation (not legally married). Those in the gay community took offense to this. Now, TWU is a private university that has standards that they would like their students to keep. It is not the only game in town. In other words, if you don’t want to sign the covenant, there are other universities you could attend to get your law degree. Why spend your hard earned money or your parent’s hard earned money at an institution that you don’t agree with?
Marketplace is everything. If an institution has a program that is not financially viable, then they stop offering it. Having your agenda shut down a school because it goes against your particular beliefs is wrong. Those pushing this agenda have no problem discriminating against those they disagree with, but take offense on those they feel are discriminating against them.
In Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedom, everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Once again, why go to a school when there are other schools that don’t have this covenant, where you can do whatever and live however you want?
The worst part is that you have lawyers who should know Canada’s Charter of Rights inside and out, voting away people’s rights just because they disagree with a policy that a school has. Who are they going to discriminate against next? Many won’t care because the school is a Christian one, but what if the next time it is something YOU care about? The thought that lawyers could just vote away someone’s right to practice because they attended a university that has a policy they don’t agree with, that has absolutely nothing to do with the education received (and going to a secular university is no guarantee that they won’t produce lawyers that are inadequate) should frighten people who believe in freedom, to the fundamental rights given to them.