Dalhousie Law Journal


community covenant, sexual minorities, Trinity Western University, pledge, sam-sex, intimacy, discriminate, LGBTQ, gay, lesbian, Supreme Court of Canada


Trinity Western University has a Community Covenant that only permits sexual minorities to attend at considerable personal cost to their dignity and sense of self-worth. All student and staff applicants to TWU are required to sign this covenant, pledging not to engage in same-sex intimacy. The purpose of this article is to offer a reply to the arguments advanced by proponents of granting law society accreditation to TWUs proposed program. The paper rejects six of the central claims that proponents ofapproval have advanced. First it responds to the claim that TWU does not actually discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Second it speaks to the assertion that the Community Covenant represents a voluntary choice not to engage in same-sex sexual intimacy. Third it rejects the contention that TWU welcomes gay and lesbian students. Fourth it challenges the distinction TWU supporters draw between a code ofconduct that prohibits samesex intimacy and a policy that excludes gays and lesbians. Fifth it rejects the proposition, broadly accepted by the Benchers of the Law Societyof BC, that the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in BCCT is dispositive of the issue faced by law societies today Sixth, it rejects the claim that opposition to public accreditation of TWU can be equated with opposition to a Christian worldview or the desirability of a faith-based university. The final section of the paper argues that the decision in some provinces not to accredit TWUs law degree is reasonable and will be respected by reviewing courts.