SUPPORT FOR TWU LEGAL CASE

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Support for TWU Before the Supreme Court of Canada

More than two dozen organizations - a record number - have filed factums (here and here) before the Supreme Court of Canada in TWU’s cases.

Key voices supporting TWU include the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and a coalition of 47 international law professors from twenty countries.

"As the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex marriage is similar to that contained in TWU’s Community Covenant, any decision made by this Court . . . will not only have a profound impact on TWU but on Catholic and other faith based religious education as well as Catholic health care and other faith based care facilities across the country.” Read more...

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Spiritual leaders caring for 13 million Canadian Catholics.

“LGBT people continue to suffer severe limitations on their civil rights – including, in some countries, imprisonment and death – for publicly embracing their sexual identity. As changes to the laws in these places are debated, many wonder whether granting rights to LGBT people will have the unintended result of taking rights away from traditional religious believers. The answer should be no, but the Law Societies say the answer must be yes. Their position turns equality into an instrument of exclusion. This Honourable Court has the opportunity to forge a better path forward, by holding that religious institutions like TWU can peacefully coexist with full equality for LGBT Canadians.” Read more...

International Coalition of Professors of Law
Forty-seven legal scholars from twenty nations, including a past president of the Association of American Law Schools.

“[The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada]’s 43 member denominations include a catalogue of European religious minorities whose beliefs and practices separated them, from their genesis, from established (and frequently state-sanctioned) churches, resulting in a long history of persecution. … This pattern of persecution continued in pre-Confederation Canada where evangelical “nonconformists” were banned from becoming lawyers until 1833. … It is universally acknowledged that the law societies cannot impose an individual religious test for ongoing membership circa 1832 Upper Canada. … The proposition that the Charter permits the exclusion of evangelicals as a group, while requiring their inclusion as individuals, is regressive and contradictory.” Read more...

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Christian Higher Education Canada
Representing Canada’s 4 million evangelical Christians.

“There are troubling implications which flow from refusing to accredit a religious law school because its communal moral rules are offensive to the majority. … [B[y allowing accreditation to be conflated with agreement, affirmation or approval, public actors would be empowered to refuse to recognize the diplomas, certificates and degrees of the great number of Canadians who have attended religious institutions, if the policies or practices of the institutions are deemed contrary to the evolving understanding of what is in the ‘public interest.’” Read more...

National Coalition of Catholic School Trustees’ Associations
Representing 61 school boards and 460 trustees who serve more than 750,000 students.

 

Support for TWU in the Media

Globe and Mail Editorial support for Trinity Western

“On any given day, we deal with people of all stripes who may hold beliefs – religious, social, sexual, whatever – that don't match ours. … In a liberal society, we must be able to express, hold and express those beliefs, and to associate with like-minded people and others, without interference – up to a point. ‘The proper place to draw the line,’ the Supreme Court said in 2001, ‘is generally between belief and action. The freedom to hold beliefs is broader than the freedom to act on them.’ Zunera Ishaq is entitled to wear a niqab, and encourage others to do so, as long as she is willing to reveal her face under reasonable circumstances – and recognize that other Canadians have just as much right to choose not to wear a niqab. The future law students of Trinity Western University are similarly entitled to hold unpopular beliefs about marriage and sexuality, and to associate with others who think the same.” Read more...

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board, Nov. 4, 2016

See also: The Globe and Mail Editorial Board: At Trinity Western, How to Decide When Rights Collide
See also: The Globe and Mail Editorial Board: Trinity Western Should Emulate its U.S. Equivalents

National Post Editorial Support for Trinity Western

“The Charter of Rights protects gay Canadians. But it also protects ‘freedom of conscience and religion,’ including the freedoms of the millions of religious Christians who live in this country. … Christian religiosity [should not] be extinguished wholesale from Canadian institutions under the pretext of protecting gay rights. It is hardly an encroachment to allow a single Canadian law school to embrace the Christian values that the rest of the country’s academic legal establishment has rejected.” Read more...

National Post Editorial Board: Canada Can Handle A Christian Law School (Dec. 20, 2013)

See also: National Post Editorial Board: Protecting Our Religious Freedom
See also: National Post Editorial Board: Why is the Ontario Law Society Persisting with its Flawed Crusade Against Trinity Western?

Vancouver Sun Editorial Support for Trinity Western

“A welcome ruling from the Appeal Court of B.C. this week upheld the right of graduates of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school to practice their chosen profession in the province. … It beggars belief that a majority of lawyers would ignore a fundamental constitutional right, freedom of religion, to advance an ideological agenda.” Read more...

Editorial: A clear-headed decision upholds religious freedom, Vancouver Sun (Nov. 3, 2016)

 

Support for TWU in the Public Square

“The Archdiocese of Vancouver has enjoyed an exceptional working relationship with Trinity Western University for many years, and greatly appreciates the excellent work that TWU is doing to fulfil its mission of preparing Christian servant leaders. The outcome of the current legal process has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of students in Catholic schools and, indeed, all people of faith in Canada. The Archdiocese stands with TWU — and has acted as an intervenor at each stage of the law school legal challenge — in defending the unhindered intersection of faith, education and professional life.”

Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB
Archbishop of Vancouver

“The underpinning of true democracy is the commitment to authentic and genuine freedom, which per force includes freedom of religion. Where there is freedom only for some, eventually this can easily become freedom for none. Let's make sure Canada remains a true and vibrant democracy.”


Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka
Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa

“It’s challenging to remember a single Supreme Court appeal with so many fundamentally important issues: education, religion, Charter, international law. Plus a record number of intervenors. Trinity Western will define who Canada is as a country.”


Eugene Meehan, Q.C.,
Supreme Advocacy LLP, Ottawa
Former Executive Legal Officer, Supreme Court of Canada
Former National President, Canadian Bar Association

“Freedom for a religious institution to pursue a legitimate faith-based mission without outside coercion or interference is an elementary principle of statutory human rights law. … The damaging message to the public would be denying minority evangelical Christians the opportunity to earn their law degree in a private, faith-based setting that meets the technical requirements to qualify as a law school. We may as well be saying, ‘evangelical Christians are not welcome’ in the legal profession.” Read more...


Prof. Faisal Bhabha
Associate Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School; Faculty Director, Anti-Discrimination Intensive Program.

“In Canada, we flatter ourselves that we have outgrown earlier prejudices that imposed religious tests for admission to professions, clubs, or public service. But by denying the right of Trinity Western University to accreditation for their law program because of their religiously-based beliefs about same-sex marriage, two Canadian Law Societies are implying that anyone who believes as does TWU is not fit to practice law. This is a retrograde step that would return us to an era of religious discrimination.”

Prof. Mary Anne Waldron
Professor, University of Victoria School of Law; Author, Free to Believe: Rethinking Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada.