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Trinity Western University to challenge rejection by Law Society of B.C. in court

12/18/2014 04:37 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST
Trinity Western, the controversial B.C. faith-based university, is commencing legal proceedings against the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) over the society's decision to not recognize future graduates from TWU's proposed law school.

"We have no choice but to proceed legally," Bob Kuhn, president of Trinity Western said in a statement.

"By prejudging our future law graduates not on their qualifications but the Community Covenant they agree to abide by while students at TWU, the Law Society has infringed on the human rights of TWU and its students," the statement continued.

Accreditation was initially granted by the LSBC's board, but was overturned in October, after a referendum by society members rejected the decision.

At the heart of the controversy is Trinity Western's insistence that students must sign a Christian covenant that states sexual relations are to be confined within the bounds of a marriage between a man and a woman.

After the October vote, Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan said the school's policy is discriminatory against people in LGBTQ relationships.

"The policies of this university are inconsistent with core values of the legal profession, insofar that this university continues to dispel or expel students for their private sexual activities," he said.

Last week, B.C. Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, withdrew the consent he had previously given to the private post-secondary institution in the Fraser Valley.

"Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University," he said in an emailed statement. "This means the university cannot enrol any students in its proposed program."

Thursday's statement from TWU said the university would also be taking legal action against the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario and the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.

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