Canadian Christian university goes to Supreme Court for case that pits religious liberty against equality

A prestigious Christian university in Canada is going to the Supreme Court to fight for its right to establish its own law school after it was told not to pursue the plan because its Christian standards would prevent its graduates from being regarded as real attorneys.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / ModernMajorGeneral)Trinity Western University's Northwest Building - School of Business. February 11, 2009.

In 2012, Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, made the decision to add a law school. However, two Canadian law associations opposed the plan and said the school's Christian covenant was against LGBT individuals. Because of this, they claimed  the future law school could not be accredited, the Christian Broadcasting Network detailed.

"The reality is, gay students and lesbian students have been coming to Trinity. So suggesting that we're precluding people from having this experience who self-identify as same-sex attracted or gay or lesbian is just not accurate," TWU president Bob Khun told CBN in response to the discrimination claims. "Basically, the fight comes down to this — a community covenant that students are required to sign that states they are committed to the person and work of Jesus Christ and that marriage is between one man and one woman."

The covenant in question asks TWU students not to engage in sexual activity beyond the boundaries of traditional marriage, something that same-sex advocacy groups said could cause LGBT individuals to not be true to their selves while enrolled at the Christian school.

In its legal filing, TWU is crying discrimination against the law societies on the grounds of religious freedom. The Christian school said barring its graduates from being recognized as attorneys harmed all religious minorities, The Globe and Mail relayed.

The law school's future executive director, Attorney Earl Phillips, said their case sets religious liberty against equal rights and could shape their country's future society.

A number of TWU students, including Muslim student Haya Fadda, thought the discrimination charges against the school were ridiculous. Fadda said she had never encountered being discriminated against in campus and mentioned that the school even began cooking Halal meals after learning that she did not eat the regular chicken they served.

TWU is set to face the Canadian Supreme Court over its discrimination case on Nov. 30.