Canada’s highest court has reserved its decision on whether a pair of law societies will be allowed to deny accreditation to graduates of an evangelical university after hearing final submissions on Friday.
Langley’s Trinity Western University’s (TWU) community covenant – which forbids sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman – is at odds.
The Law Society of B.C. and the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario argue the university’s covenant is prejudice against the LGBTQS2 community – noting it “is like telling Rosa Parks there are plenty of other seats on the bus.”
However, lawyers for TWU have argued the institution isn’t for everyone, saying it is a religious community and the school’s freedom of religion is coming into question.
The Appeal Court of B.C. has ruled in favour of TWU while Ontario’s top court has ruled against the school – both of which are being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The executive director of the proposed law school said even though they might not agree with the university’s stance the law societies have a responsibility to all Canadians, including Christians.
“They must act in a way that recognizes, in a fulsome way, those fundamental rights and freedoms, including the freedom of conscience and religion,” Earl Phillips said earlier this week.
A women’s advocacy group is one of the intervenors in the case and have argued the covenant violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
When the Supreme Court of Canada releases its decision, it will be the final decision on the matter.
-With files from Jeremy Lye