04 July 2016
At least the Ontario Court of Appeal was honest when it concluded that denying accreditation to the proposed law school at Trinity Western University violated its religious freedom. Read the news account here.
Those who follow this blog will have read numerous posts about the efforts of TWU to begin offering a degree in law. (For those just catching up, go here, here, here, here, and here.) Of course, offering a degree in law will be of little importance if TWU's graduates cannot practice law, and several of Canada's provincial bar councils have said just that--no bar admission here. On the other hand, several bar councils have concluded that TWU grads are welcome to practice law.
What's the problem with TWU? Holding students to a covenant (code of conduct) that limits sexual activity to marriage. And why is this such a problem? According to the Ontario Court of Appeal, “The part of TWU’s Community Covenant in issue in this appeal is deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community, and it hurts.” “It hurts”! Someone needs to remind the jurists, as I occasionally must remind my students, that there's no right not to be offended.
In short, feeling hurt trumps religious freedom in Canada.
This sort of back-door persecution is not limited to Canada. The gradual tightening of the Title IX noose around educational institutions in the United States means it’s only a matter of time until Christian colleges south of the border will face the same decision: submit or perish.