Canada has many private colleges and universities. It almost had a Christian law school. The number of these will remain zero for the foreseeable future thanks for a stunning 7-2 decision by Canada’s Supreme Court that forbids the establishment of the Trinity Western Law School in Langley, BC.
Because Trinity Western is an evangelical institution that holds to the traditional biblical view of sexuality, and because prospective students must sign a Covenant Agreement in which they agree to avoid drunkenness, gossip, plagiarism, any form of hazing or intimidation, with emphasis (I’m quoting now) the Christian “virtues of honesty, civility, truthfulness, generosity and integrity.” Trinity Western make no bones about the fact that its “community life are formed by a firm commitment to the person and work of Jesus Christ as declared in the Bible.”
So far so good. Except that the Agreement also says the following:
No explicit reference to homosexuality, but that is exactly what triggered the legal battle, starting with the Law Societies of B.C., Ontario, and Nova Scotia, that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Bruce Pardy, professor of law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (who was introduced to me by Dr. Jordan Peterson) thinks this decision is a cruel joke on all Canadians. In my interview, he explains exactly why. Professor Pardy has a libertarian-style view of the definition of marriage, and the TWU Covenant Agreement is not his cup of tea. But that’s not the point. What happened to good old Canadian diversity? Is there really no room for even one Christian Law School that upholds the traditional biblical view of marriage (which is shared, one notes, by the Catholic Church, many conservative Christian bodies, as well as Orthodox Jewish and Muslim organizations (the non-polygamous ones at any rate)?
If someone is offended by the rules of a private school, he or she should refuse to go. But that’s not enough for the LGBTQS2 (lesbian gay bisexual transgender questioning two spirited) activists who opposed the school’s plans from the get go. Backed by powerful legal interests across Canada and a broadly accepted presupposition about the redefinition of marriage and “evolving Canadian Charter values,” their fight ended last month with this decision.