N.B. Law Society questions anti-gay law program
Trinity Western University asks students and faculty to sign heterosexual covenant.
The Law Society of New Brunswick is asking whether students from Trinity Western in Langley B.C., a private university, should be admitted to the New Brunswick Bar.
Trinity Western is moving ahead with a law program where it will ask its students to uphold biblical values.
The school calls itself an evangelical Christian community and asks students and faculty to sign a covenant promising to abstain from sex outside a heterosexual marriage.
UNB's society of gay law students says Trinity graduates should not be welcomed in New Brunswick.
“To gain a legal education in a setting where you're learning about fundamental values of Canadian society as reflected through the legal system, without appreciating the equality of gay and lesbian people in Canada, would be a huge shortcoming,” says Ted Flett,chair of OUTLaw NB.
“And we don't feel those graduates would be fully equipped to represent the interests of New Brunswickers.”
Trinity Western President Bob Kuhn says that in itself is discrimination.
Earlier this month, he argued before the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society that freedom of religion should apply to lawyers too.
"It's prejudicial. It's the definition of prejudice.” says Kuhn. “There's no indication that they’ll do anything other than represent themselves in the best professional and ethical fashion possible.”
The Law Society of New Brunswick has invited Trinity Western to make its case at a meeting in St. Andrews in June.
“It’s a question of balance between the freedom of religion and the freedom of expression,” says Marc Richard, executive director of the NB Law Society.
The Law Society of New Brunswick is inviting the public to comment on their website until the end of this month.