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Trinity Western University Receives Go-Ahead to Create Law School
The Law Society of British Columbia has cleared Trinity Western University to open its own law school, according to The Global Post. The school requires its students to follow a community covenant that forbids intimacy outside of heterosexual relationships.
The university of located in Langley, British Columbia and has some 3,600 students. It plans to open a law school in the fall of 2016.
The covenant at the school requires that students abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
The student handbook says that students can be subject to discipline if they violate the covenant, either on or off campus.
The university had previously received preliminary approval from the Federal of Law Societies of Canada to open a law school. The B.C. Advanced Education Ministry also approved the school to grant law degrees.
The members of the Law Society of B.C. voted 20-6 to allow the creation of the law school.
Bob Kuhn, the president of the university, said “It’s a great representation of freedom of religion. If the decision had gone the other way, then those who don’t want to see a Trinity Western University law school (would be) discriminating against us on the basis of religion and not showing a tolerant attitude toward people who share a different view on the definition of marriage.”
The university is planning to enroll 80 students in its first year operating the law school. It will also become the first Christian university to open a law school in Canada.
“If a gay or lesbian or bi student wished to come to Trinity Western University and wished to comply with the community covenant as it’s written, then there’s no problem,” Kuhn said. “If the answer would be no, then presumably they would choose another place to do their schooling.”
David Crossin is a criminal lawyer who said the decision by the school to continue with the covenant is hurtful and discriminatory.
“In my view, however, the law and the public interest demand recognition of TWU’s right to conduct their affairs in this way,” Crossin said.
“There is no evidence the ability of the teachers to properly teach will be compromised. There is no evidence the ability of the students to learn and think will be improperly stunted. There is no evidence the graduates will be unable or unwilling to properly serve the public and the administration of justice.”
The president of the Law Society of B.C., Jan Lindsay, did not comment on the vote.
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