B.C. lawyers to debate religious law school amid claims of gay discrimination

By on June 11, 2014


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VANCOUVER — Lawyers from across B.C. are gathering today to debate a resolution over a faculty of law program for a Christian university that requires students to sign a pledge abstaining from sex outside heterosexual marriage.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Law Society of B.C.’s benchers have already voted to accept graduates of Trinity Western University, located in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

But more than a thousand lawyers signed a petition asking that the question be put to the society’s general membership, which includes more than 13,000 lawyers across the province.

Critics have argued the school’s so-called “community covenant,” which all students must sign, discriminates against gay and lesbian students.

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s board of directors voted not to accredit graduates from the school, while Nova Scotia’s law society said it would only accredit students if the school changes its policies.

The vote in B.C., which calls on the society’s benchers to reject the school, isn’t binding, but lawyers could call for a binding referendum if action isn’t taken within a year.