Coming to a Canadian Law School Near You: Gay Marriage


Bradley Miller discusses on the Public Discourse blog how same-sex marriage (in Canada), “…has become, for many, a cherished symbol of tolerance, inclusion and acceptance. So much so that many have a difficult time seeing any reason to tolerate continued dissent.” He points out that this line of thinking has created a systematic purging of “dissent” to same-sex marriage that now threatens even private religious institutions of higher learning:

The most recent case in point is a small liberal arts university located just outside Trinity_Western_Univof Vancouver. Trinity Western University is one of Canada’s few private universities, and it proposes to house Canada’s first and only private law school. TWU, like many other religious educational institutions, fosters a distinctively religious community by requiring its students to abide by a “community covenant agreement.” The agreement covers many different behaviors and proscribes, for example, the use of alcohol and pornography on campus.

But what has alarmed the Canadian legal education establishment is the requirement that students agree to abstain “from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” The Canadian Council of Law Deans, comprised of all the deans of Canada’s law schools, has spearheaded a public campaign against TWU through a letter to the Federation of Canadian Law Societies, the body that makes accreditation decisions.

The deans’ inability to see that the value of religious communities exceeds the value of homogeneity of views on same-sex marriage should be Exhibit A in the case for fostering some genuine diversity in Canadian legal education. And the Canadian experience as a whole should alert Americans to the danger of allowing the endorsement of same-sex marriage to become a prerequisite to participation in public life.

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