Trinity Western University (TWU), a private faith-based post-secondary school in Langley, has submitted a proposal to open a law school. The proposal was made to BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada last June. If approved, it would be BC’s fourth law school and Canada’s first Christian law school.
Since then, there has been concern from various groups about the proposal, based mostly on a provision in TWU’s Community Covenant that requires abstinence “from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”.
The Canadian Council of Law Deans has urged the Federation to “investigate whether TWU’s covenent is inconsistent with federal or provincial law” and to “consider this covenent and its intentionally discriminatory impact on gay, lesbian and bi-sexual students when evaluating TWU’s application to establish an approved common law program”.
The BC Civil Liberties Association “takes no position on whether TWU’s proposed law school should be accredited” and provides extensive reasoning in a letter to the Federation.
Most recently, the CBA’s SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference) has spoken out for “the need to engage in constructive with dialog with the Federation”. Via National TV, co-chair Amy Sakalauskas says that SOGIC and the Federation have “very complementary mandates and have a history of having great discussions on very difficult issues, and this seems to be one of those.”
TWU expects to receive a response to its proposal by June of this year.