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UVic law professor defends Trinity Western's covenant

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – The Law Society of BC is reconvening this coming Tuesday to reconsider the approval it has given to accredit the proposed law school at Trinity Western University.

A professor in the University of Victoria’s law faculty is arguing the school is within its rights to have students abide by a community covenant.

Mary Anne Waldron, who is also UVic’s Associate Vice-President Faculty Relations and Academic Administration, says the policy is not discriminatory unless it negatively affects a particular group.

“Students and faculty can choose to adhere to it, or they are perfectly free, of course, not to attend Trinity Western University. It is a private institution. The covenant is an expression of their religious belief,” she notes.

In fact, she says it’s healthy for a society to defend freedom of religion.

“As we call for more diversity, if we are going to preserve our society as democratic and peaceful, we need to learn to cope with the divergences of beliefs.”

She says freedom of religion and conscience are essential, because a thriving democratic society embraces the debate and conversations that come from differing opinions.

Trinity Western’s community covenant asks students and staff to refrain from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman, which some say discriminates against those in same-sex relationships.

Back in April, the Law Society of BC did approve of Trinity Western’s law program, but that ruling was challenged, forcing the society to hold the special session.