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Canadian Court Upholds Decision Not to Grant Accreditation to Anti-Gay Christian Law School

Trinity Western University’s proposed law school in British Columbia has been under fire because the school, in true anti-gay fashion, requires all students to agree that only married men and women are allowed to have sex.Last November, they hit their biggest obstacle yet when the Law Society of British Columbia decided not to grant the school accreditation:

Trinity Western University’s proposed law school in British Columbia has been under fire because the school, in true anti-gay fashion, requires all students to agree that only married men and women are allowed to have sex.

Last November, they hit their biggest obstacle yet when the Law Society of British Columbia decided not to grant the school accreditation:

The president of Trinity Western University says he is uncertain if the new law school will open as scheduled in 2016 following the recent vote by the B.C. Law Society members to reject the faith-based institution.

British Columbia is now the third province, after Ontario and Nova Scotia, to officially reject the university’s law school.

[TWU president Bob] Kuhn says it’s not clear whether the Christian university will move ahead with its 2016 opening date, and the school will decide in the coming weeks whether to file a judicial review.

It was a damning decision. After all, why pay money to attend law school when you won’t be allowed to practice after you graduate?

The law school appealed the decision, but they just received word today from the Ontario Divisional Court that the previous decision is upheld — so they’re still not getting accredited.

In a decision released Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Divisional Court found that the Law Society applied a proper balancing of Charter rights when it came to its decision not to accredit the school.

“Simply put, in balancing the interests of the applicants to freedom of religion and of the respondent’s members and future members to equal opportunity, in the course of the exercise of its statutory authority, the respondent arrived at a reasonable conclusion,” reads the decision.

The judges made very clear that freedom of religion does not mean freedom to discriminate:

The decision does not, in fact, preclude TWU from opening a law school. It does not preclude TWU from opening a law school that requires students to sign the Community Covenant. TWU counters that reality by saying that, without accreditation from the respondent, it will not open its law school. While we earlier accepted that there is a degree of interference with religious beliefs, should that result occur, we also earlier noted that the motivating force not to open the law school appears to be more economic than it is religious. What TWU would then be essentially saying is that it not only wishes to operate its law school in a particular way in order to advance its religious beliefs, but that it will only do so if it is guaranteed access to the single largest market for law school graduates. That position takes freedom of religion too far.

The law school can still appeal, and officials there say they will, but time’s going to run out on them either way. I can’t imagine students would want to apply to the school when the worth of their eventual degree is still undetermined.

TWU, if ever accredited, would be the only law school in the country to discriminate against a certain group of students.

(Thanks to everyone for the link. Portions of this article were posted earlier)

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