CALGARY: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms intervened in the Ontario court action of Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, in support of freedom of association, as protected by Section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld the decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) to refuse to recognize the law program of Trinity Western University (TWU), a private Evangelical Christian university in Langley, B.C.
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approved the law program of TWU as meeting academic and professional standards. The LSUC admits there is nothing wrong with TWU’s law program, but claim that TWU’s Community Covenant discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community. The Community Covenant prohibits numerous legal activities such as vulgar or obscene language, drunkenness, viewing pornography, gossip, and sexual activity outside of the marriage of one man and one woman.
The Justice Centre argued for the Charter section 2(d) right to freedom of association, including the right of every charity, ethnic and cultural association, sports club, temple, church, and political group to establish its own rules and membership requirements.
“This court ruling against TWU’s freedom of association undermines the freedom of association of every other group in Canada as well,” stated John Carpay, lawyer and president of the Justice Centre.
“For a free society to remain free, its citizens must accept that other people can and do have radically different conceptions of reality, including unpopular ideas about sexuality. The Court’s decision effectively recognizes a legal right to be free from hurt feelings, which undermines both freedom of expression and freedom of association,” added Carpay.