Recognizing lawyers from TWU legitimizes discrimination

This morning The Vancouver Sun published our letter regarding Trinity Western University's proposed law school. Our letter was in response to an opinion article by Barry W. Bussey, Director, Legal Affairs, at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Read our letter below and make sure to share it.

While a private university, TWU has received several million dollars in government grants in recent years. We support the Law Society of BC's decision not to recognize TWU's law school and call on the provincial and federal governments to stop spending public money on a discriminatory organization. You can read the BCHA's position on the proposed TWU law school here.

Principle of equality lost at TWU law school

Re: TWU Law School case was expected; we just didn’t know when, Opinion, Aug. 26

It’s of course the right of any organization, secular or religious, to be left alone when operating privately, as Barry Bussey calls for; however, Trinity Western University has entered the public sphere by demanding that public bodies recognize lawyers from its proposed law school. These demands open TWU’s beliefs to public scrutiny, particularly when something as fundamental to democracy as the justice system is concerned.

The Community Covenant that TWU requires its students to sign is clear: Only heterosexual Evangelical Christians are allowed in. If the Law Society is forced to recognize lawyers from TWU, it legitimizes this discrimination.

Christian students have always been, and will always be, welcome at Canada’s many secular law schools. TWUs program, however, closes doors not just to the LGBT community, but also to atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and even other Christians who don’t subscribe to TWU’s narrow ideology. With a finite number of positions available for lawyers, this gives an advantage to evangelicals that is unavailable to other students.

The fundamental basis for modern Canadian law is equality. Establishing a school that rejects students with the wrong beliefs or sexual orientation is fundamentally opposed to that principle.

Ian Bushfield
Executive Director, BC Humanist Association

Read our letter online (page 2)

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