The vote means graduates from the B.C. university would not be able to practise in Ontario.
“Benchers took this issue very seriously, and did not find it easy to reach a decision,” said the Law Society of Upper Canada's treasurer, in a written statement.
“As members of the legal profession, we recognize the entrenched values of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Ontario’s Human Rights Code, including the right of equality and the right to freedom of religion, and the foundational nature of those rights to our democracy.”
Trinity Western University students must sign a strict Christian covenant governing behaviour, including abstaining from sexual intimacy "that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."
Critics say the covenant essentially bans anyone in a gay relationship from enrolling in the school. Now, seriously, would anyone in a gay relationship want to enroll in a blatantly Christian college? The Upper Canada Law Society is protecting a demographic that does not exist.
This is not the first conflict between freedom of religion and Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it won't be the last. But, it is the first serious case where religious freedom has been trumped by the Charter.
It was just a matter of time, of course, and things will get much worse before they get better. The writing was on the wall when Pierre Trudeau decided Canada should be a 'just' society, not a 'moral' society. We certainly are becoming less and less a moral society.
Earlier this month, the West Coast Legal Education Action Fund, a non-profit organization founded to ensure women's equality rights under the law, argued against the university law school's accreditation in B.C.
|Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan|
Victoria criminal lawyer Michael Mulligan is attempting to trigger a rare special general B.C. Law Society meeting to overturn the decision.
Mulligan believes the vast majority of lawyers take issue with the university's covenant. There's a lawyer joke there, but I dare not write it.
Mulligan says it is at odds with a core principle of the lawyer's oath to uphold the rights and freedoms of all according to the law. Again, what demographic are you protecting? One that doesn't exist!
In December, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave Trinity Western University preliminary approval for its law school program and said it was up to provincial law societies to decide whether to recognize degrees from the school.
Please pray for the BC Law Society to uphold its decision.