A substantial block of lawyers working in British Columbia are moving to petition the provincial law society to withdraw accreditation at a proposed law school at Trinity Western University. A poll conducted throughout the province found that 75 percent of practicing lawyers agreed that the law school should not be given accreditation due to the University’s policy of asking its faculty, staff, and students sign a Community Covenant pledge. Within the pledge are a set of beliefs including the forbiding of all sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
“Trinity Western believes in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their personal beliefs and values,” University spokesperson Guy Saffold told the Vancouver Sun.“A person’s ability to study and practise the law should not be restricted by their faith.”
Saffold insisted that moving forward with the decision to remove TWU’s accreditation would ultimately hurt the university’s LGBT students by robbing their legal educations of their prestige.
“I thought it was a fantastic showing, for the second time, by the legal profession,” said Michael Mulligan, a Victoria-based lawyer and proponent of the proposal.
“The large return and clear result sends an important message about the core values of the legal profession that include upholding the legal rights of all persons. The clear message to TWU is this: if you wish approval from the legal profession in B.C. you will need to cease your discriminatory practices. The discipline or expulsion of students and staff for private sexual activity is unacceptable.”