Law degrees refused recognition because of law school’s Christian beliefs

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Two major law societies in Canada have refused to recognise the law degree from a proposed new Christian law school seeking accreditation because of its parent university's policies on sexual ethics.

According to Christianity Today, Trinity Western University (TWU) institutes a “community covenant” where students and staff are asked to refrain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” The University is planning to open a law school in 2016 and is seeking recognition for its degrees.canadian%20flag_0.jpg

But while the Canadian Federation of Law Societies, the British Columbia Minister for Advanced Education, and five provinicial law societies have accredited TWU's law school, law societies in Nova Scotia and Ontario have narrowly voted not to grant it recognition. One member of Ontario's Law Society of Upper Canada's bench, Howard Goldblatt, said: "‎I cannot vote to accredit a law school which seeks to control students in their bedrooms."

Accoring to WORLD magazine, since the school has already secured mobility agreements, its students could gain recognition elsewhere and then move to those provinces, but the school said that would create a “dangerous precedent” that would effectively mean “one must change or hide their religious identity in order to participate in society.”

We feel the provincial law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia have made decisions that are legally incorrect,” TWU President Bob Kuhn said, adding the decisions matter for all people of faith.

Kuhn, who became TWU’s president last year, was the school’s lead counsel in 2001 when it traveled to the Canadian Supreme Court to gain approval for an accredited teaching program. In an 8-1 decision, the high court ruled TWU could keep intact its views on marriage and still graduate accredited teachers.

Benjamin Bull, executive director for Alliance Defending Freedom Global, told me TWU “absolutely must go back to court—otherwise they give in to the forces of liberal fascism.” Bull said he expects TWU to win legally in the long run, but only after it “suffers its lumps” in the court of public opinion. 

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