Trinity Western University is a Christian-based university in Langley, B.C.
It has stirred a storm of controversy with its proposal to launch a law school.
Why? Because its faculty, staff and students have to sign a contract agreeing not to have sex except if they are in a heterosexual marriage.
Sounds discriminatory? Absolutely. Straight people can have sex, as long as they are married; queers cannot have sex, even if they are married.
Queers are not the only target.
Prospective students must also agree to respect life "from conception to death"; not drink, do drugs, or smoke cigarettes on campus; and to chose only entertainment which is in accordance with biblical priorities.
Leaving aside for a moment the interesting question of how TWU would enforce such rules, the question is: Can they do that??? In a law school???
The answer, so far, is yes.
The Federation of Law Societies, the national certification body, has approved the TWU application to host a law school despite its discrimination against queers.
The school relies on freedom of religion as a defence.
Some people think that no one should ever be allowed to rely on 'freedom of religion'. In Quebec, the bill currently before the provincial legislature goes further and says that people in public service cannot wear religious items. I vigorously disagree with the Quebec approach, which I think is code for discriminating against (in particular) Muslim women.
But I equally vigorously disagree that an educational institution which is teaching prospective lawyers about the rule of law, including the constitutional requirement of freedom from discrimination, should be able to discriminate against students who want to study there.
The Globe and Mail also disagrees. Read their editorial on the subject.
The fight is not over. Despite the approval by the Federation of Law Societies, several province's law societies are considering how to deal with the issue, B.C. among them.
What do you think?