A court in Canada has upheld a decision by a society to deny a Christian law school accreditation because of its Biblical sexual ethics policy.
The Ontario Superior Court ruled in favour of the Law Society of Upper Canada, which had denied Trinity Western University (TWU) accreditation for the law school it is planning to open next year.
Despite concluding that the Law Society’s decision does interfere with religious freedom, the three-judge panel said the breach was “not unreasonable”.
Sacredness of marriage
The University was denied accreditation to its proposed law courses because of its policy requiring students to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”.
Although the policy also applies to heterosexuals, the Superior Court judges claimed that it particularly discriminates against LGBT people, for whom sexual conduct is “a crucial component of their very identity”.
According to the ruling, “One cannot be divorced from the other”.
A knife to freedom
The ruling also said, “Religious freedom must therefore be understood in the context of a secular, multicultural and democratic society with a strong interest in protecting dignity and diversity, promoting equality, and ensuring the vitality of a common belief in human rights”.
TWU spokesperson Dr. Guy Saffold said: “It points a knife at the freedom of faith communities across Canada to hold and practice their beliefs.”
The University is planning to appeal the decision.