BRITISH COLUMBIA
03/27/2014 05:29 EDT | Updated 03/28/2014 12:59 EDT

Trinity Western Law School Legal Challenge Gets Crowdfunding Support

Trinity Western University

A Christian university's controversial bid to add a law school is now facing an additional hurdle: a publicly-funded legal challenge.

Trinity Western University, a private Christian university in Langley, B.C., received permission from B.C.'s government last year to practice law, after the Federation of Law Societies of Canada confirmed its law graduates would meet national standards.

But the school's position on same-sex relationships has many afraid its morals will prevent gay and lesbian students from attending and influence the judgment of its graduates.

Now a Toronto law firm and law student plan to mount a legal challenge to the law school's approval and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay the legal fees.

The GoFundMe campaign has already raised $15,355 of its $30,000 goal at the time of this story.

Angela Chaisson, a lawyer at Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan, and Marcus McCann, a law student at the University of Toronto, say they are worried the school will create a "queer quota" among law schools.

"By letting Trinity Western create a school that bars gay students from attending, the Federation of Law Societies would create a quota system: fewer law school places would be available to LGBTQ students than to straight students," according to the GoFundMe page.

Trinity Western is dealing with other formal opposition. The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society held a public consultation in February over whether to recognize law degrees from the school.

The school's president argued banning the new law school based on its faith-based "community covenant" would be discriminatory.

The society's executive committee will issue a report and a recommendation April 25.

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