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ARPA and the Trinity Western University case

ARPA has completed the paperwork required to ask the Supreme Court for “intervenor status” in the Trinity Western case. Trinity Western is the BC University that’s being challenged in its efforts to set up a law school. Several provincial law societies have tried to say that graduates of the proposed law school shouldn’t be allowed to practice in their jurisdictions because of the school’s so-called “community covenant”,in which students and faculty commit to only engage in sexual activity within the context of heterosexual marriage. The claim is that the policy discriminates against homosexuals. ARPA lawyer André Schutten thinks there’s a pretty good chance intervener status will be granted. “Because we intervened in five of the lower six court matters… I think that helps our case.” Schutten says ARPA also made “unique” arguments in those lower court hearings, and “that’s the key to being granted intervenor status.” He says ARPA Canada was the only intervenor in the case to focus exclusively on section 15 of the Charter, which is the right not to be discriminated against by law. “In the Trinity Western case,” Schutten says, “Christian students, Christian lawyers, (and) Christian professionals are being told ‘You can’t practice law, or you can’t practice another profession if you associate with other Christians of this kind of character or this kind of moral value code.’” He says the ultimate decision in this case will impact “Christians across the country.”

The court could decide on the application by the end of this week. If the decision doesn’t come down by Friday, it’ll likely be August before a decision is made, because the Justices usually take the month of July off.

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