June 9, 2014
VANCOUVER –At a meeting Tuesday of the Law Society of B.C., New Democrat MLAs who are members of the bar will vote against a policy that discriminates against LGBT students.
“The administration at Trinity Western University is proposing a law school that will not admit LGBT students, or would admit them only at significant personal cost,” said New Democratic advanced education critic David Eby. “As someone who went to a post-secondary school grounded in the Catholic tradition, and who respects schools across North America with similar Christian roots, I know that schools can maintain a religious philosophy and community without discriminating against those who wish to attend. There is no excuse for the discrimination contained in TWU’s covenant.”
Eby will join New Democrat justice critic Leonard Krog and Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston in voting for a resolution that states that Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law until they remove the discriminatory elements of their covenant.
“Our society and courts have come a long way in recognizing the equality rights of the LGBT community in Canada over the last 15 years,” said Krog. “There are important values on both sides of this question, and the ground has shifted rapidly. While respecting all sides engaged in this discussion, as lawyers ourselves we must ensure that simply because a student is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender does not mean they have reduced opportunities to become lawyers too.”
“There are far more law school applicants than there are law students,” said Ralston. “This simple math tells us it will be more difficult for members of the LGBT community to become lawyers if they don’t have access to the same number of law school seats as others. Our vote tomorrow will be for equal opportunity for all people in B.C. to study law and become lawyers.”