Canada: BC Law Society accepts application from university that bans gays

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The British Columbia law society has accepted an application to open a law school which will not allow gay people to attend.

Trinity Western University, a Christian university with around 3500 students, is planning to open a law school in 2016.

The school requires all students to sign a pledge to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”, effectively banning gay students.

The BC Law Society had considered at length a motion which would have denied the university’s application, preventing it from opening a law school, but this was defeated by a 20-6 vote.

Lawyer Joe Arvay told 1130 that he was uncomfortable with the school’s mandatory pledge.

He said: “My main objection to this law school is what I see as discriminatory conduct by the administration of the law school. I object to what I say is the metaphorical sign at the gate of the law sign, which says ‘No LGBT students, faculty or staff are welcome.”

However, fellow society member Lynal Doerksen said he would vote in favour of the bid: “To refuse Trinity Western’s law school accreditation on the basis their exercise of their belief in a traditional marriage is not in the public interest is, in my view, a very shaky legal foundation which [would] not stand up in court.”