Nov 7, 2016 Newsletter

Last week, the BC Court of Appeal released its decision on Trinity Western University vs Law Society of BC.

We intervened in this case to argue that the court should take a skeptical look at what limits should be put on freedom of religion and to consider the rights of the non-Evangelical students who choose to study at TWU. We had hoped the justices would engage with our arguments; unfortunately, they chose not to.

Instead, the decision uncritically adopts the arguments of TWU and its intervenors and allows "religious freedom" to be used as an excuse to trample on human rights.

Encouragingly though, some of those students are starting to speak up.

The TWU student newspaper published comments from 14 TWU alumni on what it was like to be queer at the school.

"[TWU] was without a doubt one of the loneliest, hopeless and self-deprecating periods of my life. It was pure, terrifying isolation.”

Another alum published a longer version of one of those accounts, as well as her own story and an argument for TWU to change its Covenant.

CKNW journalist Shelby Thom spoke about their stories on the air. She went farther challenging TWU's spokesperson who claims that TWU is a "safe, welcoming place" for LGBTQ students by directly pointing to these stories. She also published an article highlighting TWU's hypocrisy in shutting down conversations on its Facebook page.

This growing backlash, in addition to the Ontario Court of Appeal's ruling that upheld equality rights, shows that this this latest decision will not be the last word.

We're looking forward to continuing the fight at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Secular Remembrance and Peace Poppies

Prior to Remembrance Day, Ian Bushfield will be speaking with CFAX radio in Victoria on Thursday at 11:05 AM about whether Remembrance Ceremonies should be secular. Humanist veterans have written to Legions in the past that exclude non-Christians through overtly religious ceremonies.

On Friday afternoon, we will also be taking part in the ceremony to commemorate less-recognized victims of war. That event will take place at Seaforth Peace Park at 2:30 PM.

Solstice Dinner

On November 30, we will be hosting our annual Winter Solstice Dinner.

This year, the dinner will be held at the Pacific Culinary Institute of the Arts at Granville Island. There will also be a small silent auction to help fund our work.

Tickets are $50 and available online.

Operation Christmas Child

Every year around this time we receive a couple of emails about Operation Christmas Child soliciting shoeboxes from students at BC public elementary schools.

Please take a couple minutes and share these great articles from the British Humanist Association that document the regressive beliefs of the Evangelical Samaritan's Purse who run the program.

• Alternatives to the Samaritan's Purse shoebox appeal
• Why parent's shouldn't support 'Operation Christmas Child'

And let us know if you hear about these shoeboxes being collected at a school near you.


New on our website

News

• BC Court of Appeal ruling a setback for equality

Blog

• No, men and women's brains aren't that different from The Conversation

Podcast

• Teresa Gagné - White Poppies and War's Civilian Victims


Upcoming Events

Friday, November 11, 2016 at 02:30 PM
Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 06:00 PM

See all upcoming events.

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