Trinity Revoked

Trinity Western is an accredited Canadian university located in Langley British Columbia. Born in 1962 as a Christian college operated by the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, Trinity became a university in 1985.

Trinity Western University students must sign a covenant abstaining from sexual intimacy 'that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.'

Trinity Western has strict policies regarding sexual conduct. Prospective students must sign a “promise” not to engage in same sex shenanigans. Sexual intimacy violating sacredness of marriage between a man and woman = guaranteed expulsion. A decade ago, B.C.’s College of Teachers refused to recognize Trinity teaching graduates – the Supreme Court ruled their concerns unfounded. The court weighed religious and equality rights, concluding no evidence existed to substantiate concerns of teacher discrimination. Lacking evidence of teacher misconduct – Trinity was free to school anti-gay teachers.

Trinity fell off radars until a December 2013 announcement – B.C. government approval of Trinity Law School.

“The Degree Quality Assessment Board reviewed Trinity Western University’s proposed law degree and found that it met the degree program quality assessment criteria for private and out-of-province public institutions,” he said.

“Further, the review by the Federation of Law Societies confirmed that graduates of the proposed law program could meet the national standards to practice law.”

Not so fast Trinity – same sex marriage is legal in Canada. Hold your horses Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk – British Columbia Lawyers have a message for you. In June of this year, a rare gathering of B.C. Lawyers voted 3,210-968 in favor of rejecting accreditation of Trinity law. Law Society rules stipulate if results of the vote aren’t implemented in a year, they can force a binding referendum.

Today Education Minister Virk withdrew his consent.

“Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University,” he said in an emailed statement. “This means the university cannot enrol any students in its proposed program.”

“The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means prospective graduates may not be able to be called to the bar, or practise law, in British Columbia. This is a significant change to the context in which I made my original decision,” he added.

Trinity Western president Bob Kuhn expressed disappointment.

“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program,” Kuhn said in a press release.

Difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis? Holy crap. All I can say is Canada dodged a bullet. Sleep well Canada, the prospect of Lawyers encouraged to discriminate against law abiding citizens of our nation has been averted.



B.C. Spanks Trinity Law

By a vote of 3,210 to 968, British Columbia Lawyers voted in Vancouver today to reject Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. opening an accredited Law School. A non-binding vote, with overwhelming opposition to previous approval from the Law Society – rules stipulate that if results of the vote aren’t implemented in a year, members can force a binding referendum.

Why all the fuss? This Christian institution requires students to sign a pledge promising to abstain from sex outside heterosexual marriage – in essence, Canadian law recognizing same sex unions are worthless on the campus of Trinity Western. Likewise, any applicant not up to strict codes of “moral conduct”, regardless of legal rights. The link below is to a post I wrote when Trinity first received approval to discriminate and exclude ….

Kudos to British Columbia Lawyers for telling Trinity Western, and parent Evangelical Free Church of Canada to behave themselves.

Trinity Western

Trinity Western University is a private institution located outside Vancouver in Langley, B.C. Operated under the umbrella of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, Trinity Western resides in the “bible belt” otherwise known as the Fraser Valley. What began as a Christian College in 1962 has morphed into a fully accredited university – as of 1985, Trinity has been a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. With 157 acres of campus, residences for close to 1000 students, 42 under graduate and 16 graduate programs – Trinity enrolls over 3000 students a year.

Ponder one little catch – Trinity Western has no interest in gay students. Last year Trinity sought approval to open a law school. A requirement for all students and faculty is their signature on a promise to steer clear of  behaviour compromising  “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman” Same sex marriage legal in Canada, grounds for exclusion at Trinity.

A decade ago Trinity ran into problems when the B.C. College of Teachers refused to recognize Trinity teaching graduates. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled no evidence existed to prove Trinity teachers would discriminate – they said that in balancing religious and equality rights – “the proper place to draw the line is usually between belief and conduct”. Since no evidence of misconduct existed – Trinity could school anti-gay teachers.

Trinity Western has recently been granted approval to open a law school. Starting in 2015, 60 students will enter the program each year – a three year course promising at least 50 anti-gay lawyers setting up shop come 2019. By 2024 about 300, and so on, and so on.

The prospect leaves me gloomy – I don’t want a future full of close minded, rigid thinkers. I know Trinity graduates are a drop in the bucket – for every Trinity grad, thousands upon thousands of liberal thinkers exist. I also know Trinity isn’t unique – hundreds of institutions bent on religious bias churn righteous zealots out every year.

I’m not too happy with Canada at the moment. Canadians are supposed to call bullshit on injustice. Our federal government forbids employees to say “bless you” in the work place if someone sneezes (for fear it might offend non Christians) yet allows an accredited institution to discriminate against basic human rights.

Trinity Western University