Bar Associations

British Columbia law society appeals decision forcing it to admit students from Trinity Western

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Trinity Western University’s ongoing battle with the Law Society of British Columbia has headed to the British Columbia Court of Appeals.

On Friday, the Langley Times reported that the society has filed an appeal with the British Columbia Court of Appeals challenging a lower court’s decision allowing TWU graduates to join the society. The society had initially voted to approve TWU grads in 2014 before voting against recognizing the school in 2015. The society cited TWU’s restrictive rules towards its students—including its attitudes towards gay, lesbian and transgender students—as its reasons for not recognizing the school.

According to the Langley Times, the society had argued that recognizing the school and admitting its students “would impede equal access to the legal profession without discrimination.”

Trinity, on the other hand, has cited religious freedom. Among other things, the school forbids all students and faculty members from engaging in any type of sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage. The school also forbids abortions.

“LGBT students are already welcome at Trinity Western, if they choose to be part of our learning community. There are several gay students who can and do attend Trinity Western and I know from conversations with people in the gay community, they find it a safe and welcoming place,” said TWU spokeswoman Amy Robertson, who stated that TWU would take their case to the Supreme Court of Canada if the British Columbia Court of Appeals did not rule in its favor.

Updated June 6 to clarify in headline and story that the Law Society of British Columbia has filed the appeal.

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