- Will Lawyers In Canada Soon Face A Religious Test? The Hypersensitive Response Over Canada’s First Openly Christian Law School
- BC Law Society Approves TWU Law School Graduates
- The Cold Chill of the Legal Profession’s Rejection of Religious Freedom
- A Referendum On Religious Freedom
- Lawyers’ Referendum Not Just About TWU – It’s About Our Commitment To The Rule Of Law
- Called To Participate, But Not At The Table
- Hearing Update On Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
- Breaking News Supreme Court of Nova Scotia rules in favour of Trinity Western University …. more to come
- Space Enough For All: Nova Scotia Supreme Court Makes Decision on Trinity Western University Law School
- The Strange Case of Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Appeal of the TWU Ruling
- CCCC Granted Intervener Status In TWU Case in British Columbia
- The Onward March of TWU: Next Step The Court of Appeal
- Trinity Western University and the Legal War of Attrition: Isn’t It Time To Let Diversity Flourish?
- Charitable Status of Un-Popular Opinion
- CCCC Denied Intervener Status at Ontario Court of Appeal
- CCCC Granted Intervener Status at the BC Court of Appeal on TWU Case
- Sending a Message to TWU: Your Graduates Need Not Apply
- Recent Happenings: CCCC Files Factum At BC Court of Appeal; Bussey appears on TV
- CCCC at the British Columbia Court of Appeal
- The Experts Demand Deference: Law Societies & TWU
- The Intolerance of Intolerance: The Outrageous Accusation That TWU’s School of Law Is Related To The Orlando Massacre
- Being On the Right Side of History: Where the Offended Take Away Religious Freedom
- Nova Scotia’s Highest Court Rules in Favour of TWU
- Common Sense Prevails at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
- Bussey on John Gormley Show
- Nova Scotia Barristers Society Will Not Appeal
- BC Court of Appeal On TWU
- Developing Story: BC Court of Appeal Rules 5-0 in favour of TWU
- The Decision That Has Changed Everything For TWU
- Law Society of BC Appeals TWU To Supreme Court of Canada
- Bussey in Vancouver Sun: Appeal court ruling on Trinity Western University is a game changer
- The Legal Revolution Against Religion
- Supreme Court Grants Leave On TWU
- Supreme Court Grants 9 But Denies 23 Groups Intervener Status In Landmark Case
- Canadian Council of Christian Charities Granted Intervener Status in TWU Case: The Supreme Court Changes Course On TWU Interveners
- Australian Group Interviews Bussey on Equality and Freedom of Religion
- Bruce Clemenger’s Video Message on TWU Case
- Oral Argument of CCCC on TWU at the Supreme Court of Canada
- June 15 TWU Decision To Be Released
- TWU Loses: Canada’s Religious Freedom Forever Altered
- The Constitutional Promise of Religious Freedom Betrayed
- TWU Drops Mandatory Community Covenant
The Freedom For Faith, an Australian group that is advocating for religious freedom in the discussion on same sex marriage in Australia, recently interviewed me about how the redefinition of marriage changed the legal discussion on the relationship between equality and religious freedom. This is the result.
You would think that a cornerstone of equality would be the right to freedom of religion, belief and expression. However, Prof. Barry Bussey says in Canada, the argument for equality is actually being used to undermine those core beliefs for students at Trinity Western University (TWU).
Prof. Barry Bussey is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney), the Director of Legal Affairs for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, and an experienced litigator for religious freedom at every level of the Canadian judicial system.
The trouble began, explains Prof. Bussey, when TWU sought to establish a law school, and proceeded through normal channels to gain the necessary accreditation.
“Advocacy groups lobbied the Federation of the Law Societies of Canada, saying don’t accredit TWU because [the university] requires students to sign a document saying they will not engage in sexual practices while they’re students that would violate the definition of marriage as one man and one woman,” he says.
The case is about to be heard by Canada’s Supreme Court. There have been years of litigation in lower courts in relation to TWU’s right to set standards in accordance with their beliefs as a private, religious institution.
If TWU loses the case, though, TWU students will be stripped of their ability to practise law in Canada.
“The argument for equality rights has become inflated to such a degree that we’re now willing to use it as a superior right against religious freedom,” Prof. Bussey explains.
The sole cause for this case is Canada’s redefinition of marriage.
“One Bencher in Ontario said, ‘The fact that we had the redefinition of marriage is why we are here today’,” Prof. Bussey says. “If there wasn’t this redefinition, chances are we wouldn’t have this Trinity Western University case.”
Prof. Bussey believes the nature of religious freedom will change dramatically in Canada if TWU loses the case. He says that just the mere fact that someone is offended by the failure to support a non-traditional definition of marriage becomes grounds for legal action.
“It’s a huge change in the attitude of the legal profession which says, as a result of this redefinition, we must now challenge your right to practise what you believe on your own religious campus.”