I received a letter asking for money to help the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Trinity Western University, a private Christian school, has a law program but the provincial law societies of BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia do not accept graduates as lawyers. TWU has a code of conduct that all students and staff must adhere that states they will abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between and man and a woman.” Most of the provincial law societies have found this discriminatory against gays and lesbians and therefore against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Because it is.
The Justice Centre argues that “there is a big difference between discriminating against people and regulating behaviour through a code of conduct.” This almost sounds ok until we replace homosexuality with interracial marriage or religion. ‘You can fall in love with someone of a different ethnic background, but do not marry them or we will kick you out of our school. It aint discrimination, just regulating behaviours’. or ‘You can believe in a god, but don’t you pray to it’.
Then they have this gem:
Banning TWU graduates from practicing law in B.C., Ontario, and Nova Scotia is straight-up anti-religious bigotry.
Left unchallenged, it could set a very dangerous precedent. Yes, of not tolerating discrimination.
If in the future the Supreme Court of Canada extends the definition of marriage to include polygamy, must people then support and agree with polygamy to establish a law school? Sigh. Missing the point. Not discriminating via actions and words is not the thought police. You are free to disagree and think terrible things as long as it doesn’t affect others.
In a totalitarian state, the answer is yes.
In a free society, the answer is no. Ah. The Orwellian double-speak!
It then goes on to quote the fundamental freedoms in section 2 of the Charter:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (as an aside, our current government is trying to do away with this one by changing the definition of terrorist to potentially include First Nations and environmental activists and expanding surveillance and consequences for ‘terrorism’)
(d) freedom of association
Religious freedom is upheld: no one at TWU needs to change their personal beliefs about what they should or should not do with their own genitals, but they do need to stop discriminatory actions.
The truly chilling this is that this attack on our fundamental freedoms is being led by lawyers – the very people society entrusts with the practice of law in a free society. The very people who should be defenders of our freedoms, not the destroyers of it.
If those we entrust with the practice of law are undermining our constitutionally protected freedoms, what hope do we have that Canada will remain a free country?
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, unless enforced, is just words on a piece of paper. It is otherwise useless to protect our freedoms. It requires litigation to give it any effect.
I think these people have no idea what ‘freedom’ and ‘discrimination’ actually mean. Which is terrifying for a school that wants its students to practice law.
Then they shared the sad news of overturning Nova Scotia’s ruling and their plan to go to Canada’s Supreme Court and a disgusting news article full of more inflammatory and misleading rhetoric painting the Unconstitutionally discriminating school as the victim for being called out on it.
Sometimes I forget what it was like to be on the same side as the Justice Centre for Bigotry. What it was like to think that most people were out to destroy ‘freedom’.