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Christian law school that bans gay sex cannot be denied accreditation, court rules

Nick Duffy July 28, 2016

TWU president Bob Kuhn said everyone was welcome at the school

A court has ruled that a Christian law school cannot be denied accreditation based on its exclusionary sex policies.

Trinity Western University, a Canadian Christian university with around 3500 students, had first announced plans to open a law school in 2016.

The school requires all students to sign a pledge to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”, effectively banning gay students.

Due to the policy, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society decided at the time to refuse accreditation to the TWU law school – a decision that led to a prolonged legal battle when the university claimed their religious liberty had been infringed.

But the court of appeal today upheld a ruling against the Barristers’ Society, finding that they cannot be blocked.

The ruling says: “Nothing in the Legal Profession Act authorises the society to issue an independent ruling that someone has violated Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act.”

“We would dismiss the appeal.

“The Society and the respondents agree that substantial costs were incurred in the appeal.

“The preparation undertaken by the parties and intervenors was evident from the volume of materials before the Court and the high quality of representations made over the three days of hearing.

“The Society shall pay to the respondents appeal costs of $35,000.00, inclusive of disbursements.”

Bruce Clemenger of Canada’s Evangelical Fellowship, who helped represent TWU in the case, celebrated the ruling.

He said: “This decision is a good reminder that TWU’s policies and its Community Covenant are not unlawful. They are an expression of their deeply held religious beliefs.

“Religious institutions have made significant contributions to the public good in Canada and make up an important part of the Canadian mosaic.

“A critical component of living in a free, diverse and plural society is the affirmation of religious freedom and the recognition of the contribution of faith based organisations make to our society.”

More: ban, Christian, Christianity, Gay, Religion, Sex, Trinity Western University, University, US

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