DSU protests controversial B.C. law school
The Dalhousie Student Union wants the provincial bar to refuse to recognize Trinity Western University’s proposed law school
January 30, 2014, 12:14 PM ADT
Last updated January 30, 2014, 3:11 PM ADT
This story has been updated since initially published.
The Dalhousie Student Union has voted to urge the Nova Scotia Barristers Society to reject Trinity Western University law degrees because of the institution’s opposition to same-sex relationships.
Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., has students sign a document called the Covenant Community Agreement that forbids “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Trinity Western is a private Christian university whose “mission, core values, curriculum and community life are formed by a firm commitment to the person and work of Jesus Christ as declared in the Bible.” University administrators “reserve the right to discipline, dismiss, or refuse a student’s re-admission to the University” if they don’t comply.
Trinity Western’s law school is being developed now. They are not expected to accept students until September 2016.
Citing this as discriminatory against members of the LGBTQ community, many law schools across Canada have opposed Trinity Western University’s stance. Students at the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, Western University, York University and others have started letter campaigns and petitions against recognition of the law school.
Leah Staples from the OUTlaw Society at Dalhousie put forward the motion. OUTlaw is a society that focuses on queer issues for Dalhousie law students.
Many representatives at the meeting brought up issues of freedom of religion and acknowledged the impact lawyers have on the formation of laws.
The motion to urge the Barristers’ Society not to recognize Trinity Western University law degrees passed with a clear majority of the votes. Six students abstained from voting.
Update: Jan 30: A paragraph has been added clarifying that Trinity Western University's law program is still in development and that they do not offer law degrees yet.