Canada: Supreme Court ruling around religious versus equality rights

This story first appeared on Commonwealth Lawyers Association

WHEN Trinity Western University in Canada wanted to establish a new law school, it ran into unusual difficulties with three law societies in that country. TWU insists that all staff and student must sign a “community covenant” agreeing that the only healthy form of sexuality is in marriage. And only in marriage between a man and a woman. No sexual intimacy outside marriage would thus be tolerated on campus, and no same-sex relationship in or out of marriage. The law societies challenged the idea of such a law school saying it would not be in the public interest to accredit a school with a discriminatory admission policy such as this. Among the witnesses heard in the lower courts were students who described the oppressiveness of such a policy. On appeal to the highest court the law societies prevailed, with that court finding that, since they had a mandate to protect public interest, the law societies were obliged to protect equality and human rights. Their objectives included ensuring equal access to the profession, diversity at the bar and the prevention of harm to LGBTQ students.

You can read the article here