What happened here is a disgraceful display of bigotry - the very thing the Law Society accuses TWU of. Think about it - I'm willing to bet that there are no gay students at TWU. I'm also willing to bet that there are no gay people who want to attend TWU. Consequently, the possibility of discrimination is approximately zero.
Look at it like this - if North Vancouver wrote a by-law forbidding people from jumping over Grouse Mountain, would you claim discrimination against high-jumpers? No, of course not, because no-one is going to try to jump over Grouse Mountain with any possibility of success.
The by-law may discriminate in theory, but in reality, it affects no-one. TWU's sexual covenant cannot discriminate against a demographic (gays wanting to attend a Christian law school) that doesn't exist!
Therefore, this act by the Law Society of BC is not about discrimination against gays and lesbians, it is totally about discrimination against Christians.
It has been obvious for decades that gay rights and freedom of religion were going to collide and this is the beginning of that collision. The Law Societies of BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia have chosen which flag they will march under.
They have the right to do that, but it is not a 'moral' right, nor is it even truth. For the only people really being discriminated against are those who wish to attain a law degree in a Christian University.
The truth is, this is an anti-Christian movement, and that's all it is.
Of the B.C. Law Society's 13,000 members, 3,210 voted in favour and 968 were opposed. However, the resolution is not binding, so does not automatically reverse the decision to accredit the law school.
"The decision regarding whether to admit graduates from the proposed law school at TWU is a Bencher decision," said president Jan Lindsay.
"However, the Benchers will give the result of today’s [Tuesday's] members' meeting serious and thoughtful consideration."
The special vote was called over the Christian university’s controversial covenant, which forbids students and staff from engaging in sexual relationships outside of marriage between a man and woman.
Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan, who triggered the vote, believes that covenant is discriminatory.
“We are assessing an institution that wishes to discriminate based on sexual orientation," said Mulligan before the vote.
"In my judgment, that is wrong and offensive, and our law society ought not to countenance that or indeed approve the school as they are asking for."
After the vote Mulligan was pleased 77 per cent of his colleagues who voted agreed.
"In my judgment, this gets us on the right side of history of this issue, both from a legal and a moral perspective," said Mulligan.
But TWU president Bob Kuhn says the university's right to religious freedom must also be protected.
"Difficult decisions involving fundamental rights and freedoms should not be decided by popular opinion," said Kuhn in a press release after Tuesday's vote.
"In a free and democratic society, the faith of TWU graduates cannot preclude them from practising law," said Kuhn. "A just society protects the rights of religious minorities."
Kuhn says the new law school has met every legal standard put before it.
"We have to do a better job of identifying the need for religious freedom in our country, because it's clear people are not giving it the important place it deserves or needs to live in a free and democratic society."
Tuesday's vote was part of a special general meeting by teleconference at 16 locations across the province. It was expected to be the largest meeting ever for the society.
Other provinces have also weighed in on TWU:
The Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario voted against approving the TWU law school earlier this spring.
The Nova Scotia bar society only granted conditional acceptance if the school changes the covenant for law students or allows them to opt out.
TWU has launched a court action challenging those decisions.