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A B.C.-based evangelical Christian university has lost its legal battle over accreditation for a planned new law school, with a Supreme Court of Canada ruling today saying it’s “proportionate and reasonable” to limit religious rights in order to ensure open access for LGBT students.
In a pair of 7-2 rulings, the majority of justices found the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario have the power to refuse accreditation based on Trinity Western University’s so-called community covenant.
The mandatory covenant binds students to a strict code of conduct that includes abstinence from sex outside of heterosexual marriage.
The majority judgment said the covenant would deter LGBT students from attending the proposed law school, and those who did attend would be at risk of significant harm.
It found the public interest of the law profession gives it the right to promote equality by ensuring equal access, support diversity within the bar and prevent harm to LGBT students.
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