Trinity Western approval causes N.B. lawyers to speak out

Discontent continues to brew among New Brunswick lawyers over a controversial decision by the province's law society to accredit British Columbia’s Trinity Western University’s new law school.

TWU's covenant forbids sex unless it's within a marriage between a man and a woman

The Law Society of New Brunswick voted in June to accredit the law program at Trinity Western University. (CBC)

Discontent continues to brew among New Brunswick lawyers over a controversial decision by the province's law society to accredit British Columbia’s Trinity Western University’s new law school.

The faith-based university won't allow students into the program unless they pledge to abstain from sexual intimacy "that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."

Lawyer David Lutz says he was in disbelief when he heard about the Law Society of New Brunswick's decision.

In June, the majority of its council decided to accredit Trinity Western, which means students graduating from the university’s law program can article in New Brunswick.

“I was shocked,” said Lutz. “We're the people who are supposed to uphold the law. Why we would admit graduates of a law school that wouldn't admit New Brunswick citizens who are legally married based upon their sexual orientation is just un-Canadian."

Trinity Western's law school hasn't opened yet, but each province is now deciding if its graduates should be accredited. 

Ontario's bar society won't accredit graduates. Nova Scotia says it only will if students are allowed to opt out of the covenant.

Trinity Western replied with a lawsuit against those decisions.

Lutz and others have circulated a letter to New Brunswick law society members with a petition asking for another review of the decision.

So far, 230 lawyers have signed it.

“These people are being discriminated against by this school based upon their sexual orientation,” Lutz said

The law society didn't respond to CBC’s requests for an interview. In the past, it has said lawyers in the province are not allowed to discriminate in their professional duties.

It will hold a special meeting regarding the issue in September.

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