Proposed Christian law school in Canada draws protest due to views on chastity


A B.C. university that hopes to open the country’s first faith-based law school has become the latest battleground between religious freedom and equality rights.

Over a thousand students from eight Canadian law schools have signed letters protesting the efforts by Trinity Western University, a private Christian institution in Langley, B.C., to open a law school, claiming the university’s policies discriminate against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community.

The letter petition asks the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology to reject the accreditation of TWU’s proposed law school, claiming parts of the university’s student handbook infringe on the rights of LGBT students, faculty and staff.

The petitioners are concerned with the university’s conduct expectations, outlined in the handbook in a document called Community Covenant Agreement. It contains a clause that requires community members to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

If a student fails to comply with the agreement after signing it, the university “reserves the right to discipline, dismiss, or refuse a student’s re-admission to the University,” according to the handbook.

“This discriminatory policy really does not represent Canadian law. I think it definitely does offer a less welcoming environment for LGBT students to attend [TWU],” said Christopher Ghesquiere, one of the organizers of the letter petition and a representative of OUTlaw, a group the represents LGBT students at the University of Alberta, in an interview with CBC Radio.

“I feel a law school should propagate the values of Canadian law, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Despite the fact that the law recognizes same-sex marriages, the school seems not to.”

This article is a few months old. It was in another news article below that was published a few days ago, but the journalistic quality is much worse:

In the interest of providing enough information for a good discussion, here is the university’s FAQ about this issue:


It doesn’t sound like an environment that LGBT people would want to be in anyway, and as they obviously have numerous other options for education, they can’t be too concerned about not having equal access to law school.

I wonder instead if the protestors are more worried that too many people will get their law degrees under a Christian-oriented influence and eventually gain enough numerical representation among judicial posts to reverse some of the current marriage laws or make other changes that they don’t approve of??


From the article:

Bryan Sandberg, a communications student, came out in his first year at TWU. He described the campus environment as extremely welcoming for openly gay students.

“Of course there are people on campus who have more conservative traditional views, but to me, they have the right to believe that,” he told CBC Radio. “The only thing I’m concerned about is the way people treat me, and the way people treat me has been overall very positive.”

Although he doesn’t agree with the Community Covenant Agreement’s definition of marriage, Sandberg said its purpose has been largely misinterpreted. He said the clauses that promote a harassment-free campus have also been overlooked.

“[The agreement] is an invitation to join the Trinity Western community. It basically outlines what the community and the school believe in. It doesn’t necessarily say everybody is going to live exactly like that.”


Since when should private business engaging in discrimination be illegal anyhow?


Since the left has sought to fundamentally transform our freedoms in the interests of an all-inclusive State.


No I haven’t heard of that line of reasoning in the articles I’ve read about this issue. I think it’s more than that. The protesters who are against this (which it seems includes the majority of Canadian law school students) don’t believe that Christians who agree with chastity and disagree with same-sex marriage have the right to practice law in this country. They want to make sure that Christians and people of other religions who follow their religion and disagree with the state are not able to fully participate in society.

Straight up, that is how it is in Canada.

These same kinds of bigots already tried to prevent this university from graduating teachers over this same issue a few years ago, but the university fought it and took it to the supreme court in Canada, which ruled in favor of the school. But apparently they haven’t learned their lesson and are going to try and strip the rights of religious people to participate fully in society once again.


The petitioners are concerned with the university’s conduct expectations, outlined in the handbook in a document called Community Covenant Agreement. It contains a clause that requires community members to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

It seems that the protest centers on the fact that Canadian law recognizes same sex marriages while the University does not. I wonder how many legally married LGBT students actually attend this law school.

I am surprised that the students aren’t upset that anyone caught fornicating or committing adultery may also be disciplined, dismissed, or refused re-admission to the University.


If they don’t like it, they can go elsewhere. This would be 1 out of 20 or so law schools in Canada.

If you read the legislation which legalized same sex marriage in Canada, it also defends the right of people and organizations to disagree over this. It seems these supposed students of law haven’t even read the legislation.

3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.

It’s ludicrous to suggest that people have to agree with every piece of law in the country before they have a right to practice law. Of course these protestors aren’t suggesting that for other laws, only this one. This same “concern” of theirs you mention is the same reason why similarly bigoted people like this tried to forbid this university from graduating teachers.

However I am confident that this law school proposal will go through. What I am worried about is the discrimination the first class of lawyers from this school will face, since it seems that the majority of their peers don’t think they deserve the right to fully participate in society due to their beliefs.

But like I said, that is what Canada is like.


What if this was a Muslim law school and it insisted that all students conform to Sharia law - would you feel the same way about the protesters?

I think most folks are just fine with letting Christians believe what they want - they just don’t want those beliefs to be imposed on them.

I have no idea what Canada is like. Does this school get any funding from taxpayers? That would make a difference in the United States.



I think most folks are just fine with letting Christians believe what they want - they just don’t want those beliefs to be imposed on them.

Nobody is forced to go to this school

I have no idea what Canada is like. Does this school get any funding from taxpayers? That would make a difference in the United States.

Unfortunately that is true


Yes. Although the difference between the university’s covenant pledge and sharia law is worlds apart.

No, the way the protesters are expressing themselves makes it clear that these people do not want people who think differently than them participating fully in Canadian society. They tried it with teachers, now they’re trying it with lawyers. According to them, if you do not agree with their novel view of marriage, you should be excluded from society.

That’s exactly what two Canadian lawyers think in this blog post:

(It also seems clear that these supposed lawyers have not read the legislation which legalized same-sex marriage)

Also I’d like a little clarification here: in what way would beliefs be imposed on people here (other than, of course, the “values” of secular humanism, which is a-ok to impose)? Is it the school’s covenant, which people are free not to sign (and which according to the FAQ is not enforced and which has never led to an expulsion for its violation)? Is it the existence of a school which adheres to faith based education and traditional values? They are free to go elsewhere.

No this is a private school. But this goes back to not tolerating any dissent.


Leftist tendencies are invariably towards totalitarianism.
Their assumptions that conservatives likewise share such tendencies against Muslims schools are most probably an example of projection.




This is not the first time that the TWU has been in the news over leftist intolerance of Christian ideals in practice.

The totalitarians in the BC teachers likewise sneered at Christian values and insisted that the have the gay agenda spoon fed to them until they puked if need be.
So far, Canadian Supreme Courts still have some semblance of appreciation of what freedom means, even if Canadian educators openly disdain freedom, according to their leftist tendencies.


You seem to be pretty intolerant of leftists. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.


Not at all. Being intolerant of leftists is being intolerant of intolerance.

Leftists = intolerance



So are you saying any person on the extreme end of the political spectrum is by definition intolerant. Does that include those on the extreme right?


I am against totalitarianism.

I hold totalitarian ideals in complete contempt. I despise totalitarinism as much as I love freedom.

I am very tolerant of others who do not hold my views, and do not wish that only people who hold conservative evangelical, or Catholic views to have their law schools barred, or to be barred from teaching as a result of signing a code of conduct at the university that they attend.

On the Georgetown threads, my own contributions was to accept that there would be clubs on campus that pass condoms around, but that a university that holds classes in which students are required to attend pro-choice rallies is not Catholic. I personally would think that it is borderline totalitarian to require students to lend support to pro-choice as part of the class curriculum even if the university were not Catholic. Hence, I tend to call such universities left wing seminaries. Like conservative evangelical schools such as Trinity Western holding on to a traditional Christian agenda, they require adherence to their own leftist pro-choice agenda.
The only difference is that Trinity is honest about its values, and the leftist seminaries lie to themselves and everybody else that they are all about tolerance and openness.

Honesty is not a left wing value though.

All that being said, I would not be of the mindset that leftist law schools, such as Georgetown evidently is, be disallowed due to its left wing agenda, or that teachers from the left-wing seminaries that are now mainstream in Canada and America, be barred from teaching because of the values that the left-wing seminaries distilled into them.

That I think is the main different between myself and a leftist. My tendencies are never totalitarian, even against those whom I strongly disagree with. Time and again, leftists prove themselves to be totalitarian, especially against the religious right.


Fascists and communist define the extremes of the political spectrum.
They are totalitarians. That is merely stating the obvious.

When I speak of leftists however, I am not speaking of the extremes of the left being totalitarian.

I am speaking of the mainstream left being totalitarian.


What about democracy? Does the mainstream have a right to decide they want more government if they are in the majority?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit