B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Trinity Western University's same-sex relationship policy

Dec 20 2017, 3:03 am

After a lengthy legal battle, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of Trinity Western University’s same-sex relationship policy.

The Evangelical Christian university may now open a law school, despite former Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk revoking his initial approval of the school.


The school then launched a lawsuit against the Law Society of B.C. to appeal the decision.

The university requires all students to sign a “Community Covenant” that dictates they must abstain from engaging in same-sex relationships, leading the Law Society of B.C. to urge Virk to revoke his initial approval of the law school.

In a letter to members of the LSBC, they stated “the granting of approval to an institution founded on an offensive and discriminatory policy will not serve to promote or improve the standard of practice of lawyers in the province.”

“The discriminatory principles reflected in the Trinity Western University covenant would appear to be inconsistent with one of the core principles reflected in the Barristers’ and Solicitors’ oath: that barristers and solicitors uphold the rights and freedoms of all persons according to the laws of Canada and British Columbia.”

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson said The Law Society of B.C. “inappropriately fettered its discretion” when it comes to denying the university the right to open a law school and restored the initial approval by Virk from April 11 of 2014.

“We’re very pleased that the court recognized the errors made by the Law Society,” said Earl Phillips, the executive director of TWU’s proposed School of Law in a statement.

“As the Chief Justice has affirmed, the decision to approve a law school graduate must be based not on personal opinions and feelings, but on the law and evidence. The evidence shows that TWU teaches its students to work and live with the highest levels of skill and integrity.”

Senior Advisor to the president of TWU Guy Saffold said in a statement that LGBTQ students are welcome to attend the university and won’t be questioned about their sexual orientation.

Trinity Western University’s mission statement “is to develop godly Christian leaders: positive, goal-oriented university graduates with thoroughly Christian minds; growing disciples of Jesus Christ who glorify God through fulfilling the Great Commission, serving God and people in the various marketplaces of life.”

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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