It’s possible that Trinity Western University will win its case in the Supreme Court of Canada. But win or lose, it is on a path that is diverging from that of the rest of the community.
At issue in the battles between law societies and the Christian university has been a few lines of the school’s Community Covenant.
They restrict “sexual intimacy” to only those in a heterosexual marriage.
TWU, as pointed out in court, can set its own policy based on its own interpretation of scripture. But the law societies of B.C. and Ontario argue they have no such latitude.
They must follow the law of the land, and TWU cannot have the privileges of public bodies and those of a private school.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in this province since 2003. It became the law across all of Canada in 2005. In other words, freshmen students attending TWU this year won’t even remember a time when same-sex marriage wasn’t already the law of the land. They were little more than toddlers.
Trinity Western has every right to keep to its own interpretation of ethics and moral practices.
But it also has ambitions to grow and to expand its place in B.C.’s educational landscape.
With every expansion, with every new faculty it wishes to create or expand, it will face these challenges – again and again.
Canada, and the world, have moved forward on civil rights. TWU wishes to remain in place.
The justices of the Supreme Court had some tough questions for the school. So will future generations of its students and teachers. Or they may choose, instead, to attend and work at other schools.