2 Comments

  • I find a number of points made in this op-ed are erroneous, and offer a few corrections on the matter.

    First, denying accreditation to TWU does not limit freedom of religion. Prospective law students “who just happen to be Christian” and hold the views expressed in TWU’s “community covenant” continue to have the same opportunity to attend any accredited (and non-discriminatory) law school as anybody else. The absence of TWU being accredited is no more discriminatory than the lack of an accredited law school where everybody is required to sign an agreement not to eat any meat is discriminatory against vegetarians. Vegetarians may attend any accredited law school and freely abstain from eating meat, and Christians may attend any accredited law school and freely abstain from engaging in any kind of sexual intimacy that would violate their beliefs.

    Access to the limited spaces available in law schools is competitive, and there’s no reason that one class of people should have the unfair advantage of access to an extra set of spaces from which others are excluded – particularly when those excluded others are a community with an extensive history of being subject to discrimination and disadvantage.

    And TWU’s requirement IS discriminatory, clearly and unequivocally. While you’ve noted that TWU doesn’t expressly forbid LGBTQ students, that’s not what’s required to constitute discrimination. Forcing LGBTQ and unmarried students to agree to abstain from sexual expression—as an integral aspect of their identity—would impose an undue burden on them and is more than sufficient to qualify as discriminatory.

    That would be true if the undue burden were merely an incidental effect of the covenant, but it is even more true when it’s the express purpose. It’s really not the case that the covenant “[could] be worded better to include people in same-sex marriages and others who fall outside of a heterosexual union” because denying sexual identity to those outside of a heterosexual marriage is the intended effect. TWU’s covenant is discriminatory, and denying accreditation to TWU’s program is the right thing for provincial law societies to do.

    • A very shallow reply you give. You make many errors. First no one is forced to abstain from anything at Twu. People choose to go there. Second your silly comparison with freedom of religion and being a vegetarian ignores the charter of human rights and freedoms that makes it against the law to discriminate against religion. Please educate yourself.

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