I'm horrified, disgusting, and disappointed in the commenters who are unhappy with this ruling. Religion has no place in government or law. Yes, TWU should be allowed to run an institution based on their religious principles. Even though I don't agree with it, I believe in the freedom to practice your religion. HOWEVER, if you're a practicing fundamentalist Christian and you'd like to study law, go to another school. Simple as that. You can still be a lawyer and have your own ridiculous biases (which, in fact, will make you a poor lawyer).
Many of the commenters here are suggesting that this ruling negates freedom of religion or freedom of speech; however, we live in a society where we're well on our way to treating every human as equal. So your freedom to discriminate against other people (especially when their lives don't affect or burden yours whatsoever) doesn't outweigh other humans' freedom to be happy. I can't believe you think you're so high and mighty that you'd rather be allowed to put other people down and make their lives more difficult, when your very bible re-emphasizes, over and over, how important it is to love your neighbour and be good to each other.
Consider yourself lucky that you have so few problems that you have time to be so enraged by a decision that's more moral and ethical than your outdated opinions. Sickening.
I bloody-well disagree with this decision, and I'm not even a Christian! How is this discrimination against the LGBT community? Why would any of them even want to go there? I know I wouldn't. They would find my Ayn Rand style atheism most unpleasant. But apparently, unlike many like many socialist types (of which there seem to be a lot in the LGBT community - and now, I wonder, in the legal profession...) I do not think I have some right to force myself on someone who does not want to deal with me. TWU is not sucking my tax money like the "justices" of the Supreme Court, nor have they sought and acquired a government-backed power to dictate who I may and may not deal with like the Law Society. All things considered, even with my religious differences with the folks running TWU, I find them to be on a far higher moral and ethical plane than either this court or these law societies.
The Supreme Court made the correct decision in this matter. A law society must promote equal access to the law and that starts with promoting equal access to the bar. Trinity Western University's mandatory covenant is discriminatory to LGBTQ+ students and as spots in law schools are limited throughout the country, this policy has the potential to privilege non-LGBTQ+ students. The Supreme Court's decision affirms that human rights are transcendent to religious freedoms. While it limits religious freedom in a "reasonable and justified" way, it in no way prevents people from practicing their religion. This ruling does not prevent students from opposing same-sex marriage on an individual level, and doesn't even prevent the existence of a voluntary covenant. It is a reasonable and balanced ruling that seeks to advance the public interest and ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected.
I am appalled at this decision, shocked, mortified. It is a landmark decision setting a precedent that has opened the floodgates against freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, and especially freedom of religion. It comes as no surprise but fortifies Trudeau's getting away with not alllwing prolife party members and refusing funding to groups that are opposed to abortion. It is a sad day for Canada.
I disagree with the ruling. Freedom of speech and expression must be protected at all costs.
Meanwhile... Muslim driver can refuse you service if you have a dog... And can do rallies all day expressing their undying hatred of Jews... Why the double standards?
They ruled wrong. This is about religious freedom.
Say a jewish university or school made you sign a covenant about kosher food in their premises. Then they should be able to. If you study there you should know that you have to follow certain religious standards. Even If you don't share the beliefs you agree to respect them.
I can see that a lot of practicing christians have made a point to post their discontent about the recent Supreme Court ruling. If a school has made people sign a covenant discriminating against homosexuality and then expects that the law society will accept them as members of our judicial community, is down right preposterous. How can someone be on the forefront of our legal system and yet still have their heads buried in the sand. It isn’t the 1900s anymore! We are all equal no matter what race or sexual orientation. It is time for Christian values to evolve as have, already, a major portion of our society. How can a university discriminate against a persons sexual orientation and then whine about the fact that a governing body won’t accredit them because they are still living long ago in the past tense. Give your head a shake christians and stop trying to throw the constitutional right argument into the mix. It’s a constitutional right to accept everyone and everything as equals in our society and not to discriminate!
While I am a believer that love is love no matter what the issue here is a faith based school that wants to keep thé santity of love between a man abd a woman. It is not right to take their human rights away from them. There are many other schools that people of same sex relationships can go to. This is a violation of Christian life and so I said I feel its wrong to deny the school this right.
This is a private school, it's designed to function under its capacity specifically for those that want to uphold Christian principles...
Even if one may consider this discrimination, one cannot rule them as unlawful, because that is exactly why this school operates officially, it has its own rights to choose to operate in that capacity....
To even start making this an argument at the beginning is just because those that are discriminatory over others who have a certain way of living conduct to be incorrect, but then, who are they to judge?
Isn't this particular kind of judging in its form, also discrimination then?
Keep in mind, this is a private school...!
I live under the same constitution as the rest of Canadians but I am also allowed to have my own thoughts and believes, others can simply choose to not be my friend or vote for me, but others have no grounds or means to attack my thoughts, believes and life style...
The Supreme Court is correct. We all differ in our religious beliefs and the rule of law must be separated from religion and all aspects to be viewed by all as fair and honest. Any other decision and Canada would be like a third world country where people use religion to tamper/influence the law system. Leave the judging to God. Man is not up to the task.
The reason given for denying TWU's Law School was because there needs to be more diversity in Law – but isn’t that hypocritical, not having a Christian Law School in that exact same diversity??
This issue is simply a matter of choice. If you live that lifestyle and have made that choice great for you. However, in the same vein TWU has decided that students attending their university sign a covenant and abide by the biblical beliefs enshrined at the University. Again that’s their choice. The ability to have a law program and accreditation now cannot be supported on what grounds? The LGB lifestyle is a choice that no one has made unlawful in Canada. On what legal grounds is the refusal to allow TWU the choice of having a covenant as a precondition For their Law program? What about all of the other programs ? Now all of these graduates won’t have standing ? Really SCC? Your decision undermines the very essence of freedoms in this country and speaks to society’s values. News flash - if we followed the fundamental beliefs and values that Canada was founded on- based on god fearing values, our Country would be that much better. This decision is a poor one at best.
Quite simply, the ruling is unconstitutional as it goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that all Canadians enjoy! The question is, how does a Supreme Court ruling get overturned?
An individual lawyer should not be prohibited from practicing law simply on the grounds that he adheres to certain moral standards in his personal life, because he believes these to be right, while not forcing others to comply to his standards.
Likewise, a voluntary association of students, such as those who would be trained at TWU, should not be prohibited from practicing law simply on the grounds that they adhere to certain moral standards in their personal lives, because they believe these to be right, while not forcing others outside of the school to comply to their standards.
Yet this is what the Supreme Court of Canada is telling us. It is saying that provincial law societies can exclude such students. It evidently does so by pointing fingers at the University, at its "exclusionary" requirements for its students, which it sees as incompatible with the universal rights which lawyers should be bound to uphold. However, first of all, TWU is not requiring its own law students to impose these moral principles on others outside the school who do not share their principles. There are plenty of other good reasons why a school would want its students to adhere to these standards. They have to do with the cohesion of a particular community, and above all with the religious identity of the school. They are about making explicit the moral standards of the school itself.
Clearly, the Supreme Court is afraid of the notion of such standards which imply that not everything is equally accepted. The students, and the University itself, hold to these standards because they believe they are true, and that is threatening, because if they are true, they are true for all, and if they are believed to be true, they are believed to be true for all. But again, this is not truth which they seek to impose on others through denying others the opportunity to speak or practice law.
This is rather what the Supreme Court of Canada is doing. They believe that their notion of right (which by the way not even Vancouverites agree with), trumps all other rights, even the right to hold to one's religion.
My heart is breaking, I can not find words to express the wrengthing that I feel in my soul. I have been part of churches for the past fifty years. Not one time in my church experience have I ever encountered harmful or shaming intent towards others of different orientation or race. It seems that there is a clear and defiencet understanding of what is is we believe and how our faith affects or does not affect how we treat others of different views. It also seems to be that if we disagree with any one aspect of a thought or opinion or viewpoint then that is perceived that we hate or disagree with everything on the issue. There is a outstanding lack of understanding of faith in general by these so called decision makers. I need time to pull myself away from the shock of this. And gather my head and heart to what I will do in light of this. I know I will not can not deny my faith. I can not hang it on the shelf like a hat that is taken off or in in good or bad weather. I am wondering if this will force me into defiance. Does this also mean that muslims/hindu can not wear their emblems of their faith in public which is clearly a outward symbol of their beliefs ? All of us I think need to stand together , shoulder to shoulder, and stand for the rights and freedoms that are entrenched in our constitution. This is a very sad day for Canada. Today I am ashamed of my country.
What happened to religious rights in Canada? We believe and wish to live by our beliefs. we are not forcing anyone to join us. If they wish to we are only asking that they respect our beliefs.
The ruling of the Supreme Court is sadly flawed in several ways: 1) it presumes that a future lawyer who signs a covenant of Christian conduct is necessarily prejudiced against those who do not live in a Christian way; but if he or she is a true Christian, he will hold to the core teaching of the Christian faith that all people have an equal dignity from the Creator, regardless of their conduct; 2) it presumes that equal treatment for all means equal opportunity to academic programs; but just as any academic program has certain prerequisites, so the TWU law program would require certain basic tenets of faith in order to discuss law in a Christian worldview; 3) it neglects to ask what is the basis of a right; rights are not conceded to us by a law, they are based on our innate dignity as human persons.
No one is forcing ppl to attend this college. If you don’t like their values and rule set then don’t attend. Trudeau bullcrap at its finest.
I am deeply saddened by the recent SCC decision to not support religious freedom in Canada. This SCC decision sheds new light of the hypocrisy of our national institutions that purport to protect individual freedoms for ALL Canadians but really only want to protect the rights of people that they philosophically agree with. It is beyond comprehension how anyone would consider Canada to be a "free and open society" when government institutions take away basic human rights from one group of people and justify these action a necessary to "protect the rights" of another group of people. Except for when Germany introduced the The NUREMBERG LAWS on 15 September 1935, no other Western government has ever taken such a negative action against the most basic of human rights: religious freedom. Wake up Canada, our most basic human rights (thought, conscience, religion) are all under attack by forces that seek to remake Canadian society to resemble 1930s Germany. To quote the famous quote of philosopher, George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
I would agree with the Supreme court if TWU was the only university in the land to teach this. They are not! Therefore their decision is null and void.
Tree result shows that in Canada discrimination is only allowed in one direction: against Christians.
There are two basic human rights upon which all other human rights exist and become valid. Once cannot pit one against the other because they are both fundamental rights in order to exist as humans. they must both be affirmed equally and across all other rights in order that everyone may be respected.
These two rights are the right to life and the right to conscience. Dead persons don't enjoy the rights of the living. Life is the foundation of all other human rights.
However, equally important is the right to conscience. A human being is not just body only but also has a spiritual side. This second right opens the person to what is transcendent in him. This right allows every human being to exercise his/her freedom and purpose in life. We are a unity of body and spirit and this is why both rights are equally important.
The right to life and conscience concerns both the community and the individual. Both! While it is true that the right to conscience is not an unlimited right, it may not be infringed by the political community if it erodes the individual right to freedom of conscience. Both must be safeguarded equally for the peace of society at large. The Trinity Western ruling has trampled over the rights of individuals to pursue in a just and peaceful way, the right of conscience.
Sadly this is just the beginning of the end of religious freedom. Curious that much of Canadian law is based on the Ten Commandments. If everyone lived by them it would be a better society don’t you think?
Living for God requires us to obey Him. All Christian originations will always be challenged for what they believe is right ! God is the author of what we believe in.
I invite any Canadian citizen who wishes to conform to TWU's rules as a Professor or student to study law in Alberta to help me open a law school associated with TWU here in Alberta - where still some common sense and respect for God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, His Holy Word is still respected. That respect is necessary for those who take oaths and vows taken upon the TRUTH of God's Holy Word and commandments still prevails - they demand single, chaste, single parents provide for their children - and they don't prosecute adulterers, rapists and torturers. The ignorant in this Nation are evidently doomed for lack of knowledge - all the non-believers reject the information that is freely available - they seem to think honesty is not required - and only "know" about anal sex with their deluded same-sex partners and rapists of children and women trafficked and murdered by them.
Walter Bergen is right - the Judges erred (again) forgetting that enrolment in TWU is voluntary. Unfortunately being born into a Nation with such a stupid Supreme Court was not voluntary for many of us who now have very good reason to despise the Supreme Court Judges as harmful and evidently mentally disordered, or senile and demented.
The Supreme Court of Canada Judges have all swung so radically far to the political left, it seems beyond their ability to right their own confused and mentally disordered reasoning. Their insanity in reasoning they have uttered since 1982 to decriminalizing abortions let murderers who wanted tax-funding for killing babies inside pregnant women persist to extort from families. In their insanely inhumane minds they also tacitly legalizing the Taser-torture of innocent fathers and mothers who are in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony by failing to administer prosecution in provincial courts of errant cops - so when the homocide of Robert Dziekanski went globally viral we tax-payers also had to pay for a "private" $3.7 billion costly Commission of Inquiry. The Judges on that court are so narrowly focused on LGBTQ claims - they have also supported unethically trying to force doctors to administer lethal injections to almost any citizen other than themselves as so-called "assisted suicide" by the euphemism "euthanasia" - we provincial tax-payers should not have to pay for anyone to kill themselves! Even Kay Carter evidently could afford to fly to Switzerland to be "euthanized" and cremated there. Why should we obedient Catholic Christians be forced to support her beneficiary - the arrogant BC Civil Libertarians and Law Society members who don't do anything pro-bono or support any charity really. They seem to be the ones who most want to "defend" white-collar organized criminals who are human traffickers or cops guilty of dealing drugs - those are the criminals with the most money!
Seeing the prejudiced reactions based on ignorance over this issue is truly astounding. It’s almost as if the majority of people didn’t bother reading the actual ruling of the SCC and presumed it was a ruling on the right of TWU to have their law school in a faith-based learning environment, rather than a ruling on the permissibility of provincial law societies to not recognize TWU’s program because of its inherent exclusionary and discriminatory policy, which is a *mandatory* requirement of all students and staff. There is a big difference. If TWU wants to show partiality through excluding law students who are destined to serve the public good in a career (that by law and by definition must be impartial and non-discriminatory) based on their private sexuality or relationships, then our law societies can likewise exclude this law school as it does not stand up to the criteria of non-prejudiced impartiality to the public. Exclusionary interpretations of religious morality are fine (though not necessary or helpful) to exist, as it does in this “community covenant”, but should not be a discriminating factor in forming the make up of our secular and pluralist legal system’s practitioners.
So Sad. Agnostic male here. Extremely dissapointed that sexual orientation has become more important than freedom of religion. Its rather disgusting actually.
How does closing this school help society?
Beam me up Scotty. No intelligent life worth mentioning down here.
HELLOOO YOU BIBLE THUMPERS!!!’!!
I have skimmed the comments on this opinion and am truly amazed that there are so many people who figure that “GOD or Jesus Christ” in this day and age with everything around us is evolving at a rapid pace. Yes this includes non believers (like me) who except the change that has been evolving (100% Hetero Sexual) because to fight it (You Lose) as seen here with this extraordinary final judgement (Supreme Court of Canada Decisions) are (FINAL). Stop fighting a losing battle people!!!! There are (Wayyyyy) too many of us (Non-Believers) who very much enjoy sex, (Outside of Marriage)!!!!!
This a sad day for Canada as the SCC has failed to protect the rights of religious liberty and freedoms of association and conscience. Where is the rule of law if the court reverses its 2001 TWU decision?
This is incredibly sad news.
If the courts can discriminate against regulations freedom, they can discriminate against any right.
In the end, are there more spots available for LGBT students or otherwise? No
In the end, there is reduced opportunity for everyone.
the code of conduct at TWU is voluntary. The SCOC erred egregiously in not recognizing the voluntary nature of the commitment, and then used the Charter to limit the rights of a minority (Christian) to uphold favor for the rights of another minority (LGBTQ).
The Chief Justices in doing so, have failed the fundamental principle of fairness FOR ALL.
Furthermore the SCOC made this ruling not on the basis of evidence, but ideology. TWU graduates are prized in such public professions as nursing and teaching. There is no evidence that these persons, graduates of TWU, are more disposed to being charged and convicted with offenses of prejudice in the execution of their public responsibilities. No evidence whatsoever.
This is a miscarriage of justice.
My heart is so heavy this morning on the devastating news of Trinity losing the legal battle .. please explain.. they are not able to provide a law program in their own Christian university because of their standards and policy for students to adhere to regarding a Christian Covenant that they must abstain from sex outside of heterosexual marriage ..which those applying can choose to agree to .. or they can find another place to obtain a law degree.. will put LGBTQ at harm ? They are a self funded Christian university - how do they not have a right to set a standard for their students who would only apply if they are in agreement with this .. are we living now in a totalitarian government ? So now TWU cannot offer a law program at all, because they have a code of conduct and belief based on the Word of God? Would a Christian who does not believe in falling to their knees on a mat 30 times a day in a Muslim university have the right to overrule their religious practice because they feel they may be “harmed “ Please also bear in mind, this is not a case of discrimination. IF it were , they would not include the other group "hetrosexuals" as part of their Code of Conduct. This is another way for our leftist (Stalinist) Government of using the LGBTQ as propaganda to discredit
Christians and quelch all freedom of Religion.
I detest the NDP. I also detest the religion of climate change. I also detest shrill feminism. I am a minority and my rights are violated by the existence of those I detest as they do not share my views. Please have the SOC deny and extinguish their various ideologies in favour of mine. Fair?
Most Christians tolerate views that totally contradict their own. While we don't (or at least shouldn't) agree with unbiblical viewpoints, we don't cry "human rights abuse" when someone disagrees with us. Are Christian viewpoints tolerated by non-Christians? Do you really think everyone is going to "mature or evolve" to embrace homosexuality? If so, think again. However things turn out, true Christians should not impose their values on others in the name of modernization or tolerance (intolerance?). No one should be forced to go to TWU, a Catholic university or any other faith-based school. I hope TWU never changes their values and always shines the light on the truth for as long as TWU exists.
The only thing discriminatory about TWU's covenant is towards those applicants who are married homosexuals since their covenant forbids extramarital sex for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. How many married homosexuals going into Law would honestly want to spend extra money to go to a Christian university? So the effect of the discrimination, though real, would be very minor. Whereas consider the loss to the many Christians who would have benefited from a Christian education in Law at TWU. In fact, this decision seems to be a loss to LGBTQ students. If Trinity's law school had opened then some Christian students would have been removed from the public law schools which would have opened up more potential spots to LGBTQ students. Yes, the percentage of law seats available to someone wishing to have homosexual sex would have decreased but the absolute number of seats available to them would have increased.
There is a genuine conflict of rights in this case, it must be admitted, but the decision seems to me to have been the greater of two evils.
Also, a genuine question. What factors made this 7-2 decision different from the 2001 decision which went to TWU 8-1 in their favour? There must be some important differences between the accreditation of teachers and lawyers?
I think it is very sad. We should all be able to operate our schools on our own religious principles. When the constitution doesn't mean anything anymore, we all are setting ourselves up for a huge mess
To Danae ... to answer your question, if I was barred from a lgbtq school because I’m straight, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit offended. There are plenty of other directions for me to turn. I’m already barred from women-only nightclubs and frankly don’t care. Why would I?
This is a bullsht ruling. Trinity’s policy is self-contained. If you don’t agree with a school’s policies, go find another school and your human rights won’t be affected. There’s more than one viewpoint on this planet. Also, Trinity’s graduates will be subject to the laws of the land, like everyone else.
I agree 100% with the ruling it’s a matter of human rights .
To Gordon Thiessen - I am a graduate of TWU with a teaching degree and was never taught anything less than treating all kids and their families with love and respect no matter their race, gender, orientation, or religion. It is a great school.
I would just like to know, for those who are not in favour of the ruling...would you agree then to have a solely lgbt university where if you are married in a hetero relationship, you would be barred from going? I just don't see many of you loving the idea of being barred for who you choose to be in a loving relationship with
Society also didn't want TWU to graduate teachers or nurses because of their community covenant. While I can't speak about teachers, my daughter graduated from TWU with a nursing degree. TWU nurses are held in the highest regard and they are not taught to withhold care from anyone regardless of their minority status. I am sure the same holds true for teachers and would also for TWU lawyers.
It is extremely sad and unsettling that a university that stands for moral principles is to be outlawed from giving us fine principled lawyers. Canada and the United States were both founded by ministers of the gospel and by lawyers, principled leaders who led our countries and established universities for the purpose of giving us principled, honest graduates, men and women of integrity, to lead our governments, our churches and our secular ministries with honesty, truth and integrity. Those leaders would now be astounded that our country wants to refuse to grant permission for lawyers of integrity and moral principles to represent folks in our courts! When our present lawyers do all kinds of things to get dishonest people acquitted, it is amazing that our Supreme Court now approves those who do all kinds of questionable acts in their practices, but refuses to accept those who desire to practice with honesty and integrity!
This is not a human rights issue. This is an issue of religious freedom. Canadians should be able to practice their religious beliefs and if a private school wants to teach through a Christian worldview and expect students to live according to the Bible, then that is their right. I would expect the same freedoms for any other religious school. Where is it going to end? Are they going to shut down other faith based organizations like churches, temples, and elementary and high schools with conservative values? If there is something in the community covenant that a person doesn't agree with, then don't go to TWU. There are plenty of great schools that will accept them with open arms.
There is no such thing as evangelical christian principles.
Canada is a nation that promotes freedom of speech and religion. Trinity is a university that expresses a Christian perspective on our culture. The Sermon on the Mount when practiced would address the critical issues in our community that cripples relationships in family and community. Fractured families and relationships are the results of not following these principles.
Trinity University equips students to live out the teachings of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount in our lives and work. To limit graduates from Trinity to be a positive influence in our community is a definite loss and opposes freedom of religion and speech.
Yes, I agree with the ruling. Here's the deal... It doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree... This is a Human Rights issue. Human Rights have never been a "majority vs. minority" debate. If that were the case, minorities would never have achieved equal rights. In a country like Canada, equal rights are “human rights”, which supersede what the majority may want. It’s not about representing “the majority”, it’s about protecting “the minority”.
Since any student in Canada has access to law schools that are not confessional in nature, the existence of one that is confessional in nature does not harm them in any way, as there are viable options to study at schools that do not inhibit sexual activity among students. The rule at Trinity is not against people of different orientations: it only says that people who are not married to each other, no matter what the orientation, are expected to follow Christ's rules on abstinence, and the definition of mariage is also religious in nature, grounded in the creation account in Genesis 2. The judges did not recognize the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual activity, not realizing that abstinence is required of all singles in the Christian context, and read the rule wrongly as being against people of certain orientations only. This ruling jeopardizes freedom of religion within private educational systems, and freedom of religion is one of the hallmarks of a just society.
As we mature as a society, human rights have become an important part of our changing world. Gradually we see all individuals as equals and our justice system must be in the forefront to protect this "new" vision of our species. Lawyers with predetermined attitudes against individuals have no place in our court system.
I agree with the supreme court. We cannot accept that in this day and age to discriminate against the LGTBQ community. This is what this university is doing.