January 21, 2013
Canada's First Christian Law School Opposed over Gay Lifestyle Ban
Trinity Western University's community covenant would be “fundamentally incompatible” with Canadian core values, argue law school deans.
The Canadian Council of Law School deans recently issued a letter stating that TWU's “community covenant” unfairly discriminates against gay, lesbian, and bisexual students—and that discrimination is “fundamentally incompatible” with the core values of Canadian law schools and of an equal society, the National Post reports.
TWU's covenant is a lifestyle code signed by all students, staff, and faculty. It asks that those who sign the code abstain from homosexual relationships. It also asks them to refrain from gossip, lying, smoking and consuming alcohol.
TWU president Jonathan Raymond has responded to the law deans in a letter of his own, according to the Vancouver Sun. Raymond argues that TWU’s covenant is “consistent with federal and provincial law.”
This is not the first time TWU has dealt with questions about its community covenant. The school was denied accreditation over its community covenant, but a 2001 Canadian Supreme Court ruling "upheld the right of Trinity Western's teacher training program to apply the community covenant to bar homosexual relationships."
CT weighed in on the debate over "sexual standards" at Christian colleges in 2011, and previously reported the debate over TWU's confessional standards for faculty. CT also noted when Raymond was selected to lead TWU as president in 2006. TWU staff have regularly appeared in CT's pages.