Trinity Western’s law-school bid gets provincial approval despite same-sex intimacy ban

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Unionist

And by the way, I found the full text of the "complaint" by this lawyer whose fees are being paid, apparently, by this 23-year-old job-seeking wilderness aficionado:

[url=https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1310194-2014-09-30-paquette-huma... of help to Human Rights Commission by oppressed Christian[/url]

 

NorthReport

Looney tunes. 

There comes a time when you have to know when to fold 'em.

Bethany Paquette won't back down on human rights complaint against Amaruk Wilderness, lawyer says

Company hit headlines this week after CBC News reported on Trinity Western grad's job rejection

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bethany-paquette-won-t-ba...

6079_Smith_W

I read the complaint.

I expect the claim she wasn't hired because of the policy of the school she attended is overreaching, but it is standard to point out everything, just as it is to name everyone potentially connected when one files a lawsuit.

As for bringing up those political beliefs in the letters, and the harrassment charge, that's up to the tribunal. Whatever hay some might be trying to make of this, it doesn't have any bearing on what happened between the company and the applicant.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Is there a list of people whose political ideas or other personal attributes can be brought up in a hiring process, in the workplace or in public, and who can be refused on those grounds? If there was a memo to that effect sent out by our corporations branch I must have missed it. 

I have already read the Godwinisms about this elsewhere. No one should be forced to hire or serve THOSE people, after all. And of course I know that in practical application not everyone's rights are recognized equally.

But I did think that in theory at least that these things were supposed to be universal. I guess not.  it would be a bit less confusing if we actually had that list of whose protection we recognize, and whose we do not. Or what happens with a person who has one from column A and one from column B? Do they just cancel each other out? Is there some sort of point system based on which belief, or which personal attiribute a person might have?

Or to take it a bit further.... are there some of these attributes it is our duty to attack? If so I am in real trouble. Evidently I have been doing it all wrong, just assuming these people are all the same.

 

NorthReport

Are there any Canadian Christian martyrs?

Perhaps Bethany could become our 1st one?

Unionist

This story is utter horseshit - a feeble attempt by TWU to change the channel on the universal condemnation of their hateful practices.

1. They instigated the complaint by Bethany Paquette - who went to them for advice, for some reason.

2. They obviously hired and are paying for the pricey lawyer (Geoffrey Trotter) who is turning this into a Christian Martyr case. Unless, of course, Paquette is an independently wealthy 23-year-old who is just applying for guide jobs for the thrills of the idle rich. Doubt it.

3. The same lawyer, by the way, who argued for the "right" of public servants to refuse to officiate at same sex marriages. Coincidence, probably.

4. Luckily the courts were more democratically-minded than the Christian homophobe zealot Trotter and his Saskatchewan neocon government allies. Note that the eminent Mr. Trotter assisted the Christian Legal Fellowship in preparing its factum to the Court, explaining in detail how "Traditional Belief" Christians are persecuted by being forced to suffer such abominations as homosexuality.

I'm with NR. Let's get ready for the beatification, canonization, etc. of St. Bethany of the White-Water Rapids. With an attorney like Trotter, she is galloping to martyrdom!

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Actually, the Saskatchewan ruling  involved a case where the tribunal found in favour of the complainant. The tribunal found there was discrimination against the couple because of their orientation.

The story you cite had to do with the province arguing on behalf of the accused (and itself) trying to see if they could weasel their way around it. They were turned town, and a good thing too. Officers of the court  should not be able to pick and choose which laws they get to follow and not follow in doing their jobs.

Seems to me businesses are bound by similar guidelines in their hiring practices.

Hard to say how BC will rule, but I think you have the situation backwards. Unless this does have to do with that list I was wondering about.

And as for all this speculation about canonization, I think the case I mentioned upthread (which was lost because the complainant would have been required to take part in religious services, and prosletyze)  has generated more interest in legal classes than it has among pilgrims and icon hawkers.

I can certainly see that Trinity Western might want to weigh in on this, but again, it isn't relevant to the initial complaint. And there is no evidence that they paid or put anyone up to anything. So I am not quite sure where you are coming from.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/woman-loses-job-for-being-different-faith-...

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And there is no evidence that they paid or put anyone up to anything.

 

You mocked the CBC video news report that said "Trinity Western encouraged her to file a human rights complaint", because you called it "unattributed". Awfully strange thing for the CBC to make up out of whole cloth. But I guess you'd like to hold them to strict academic standards on this one, footnotes and all, because for some reason you feel this woman was the victim of persecution, and you're not much interested in evidence that this is a scam.

Like her lawyer, who freaked out when he learned that "Amaruk" appear to be pranksters, and rushed out a news release saying, doesn't matter, we're fighting for the rights of Christians here!

Likewise, you seem indifferent to the documentation which I (not the media) found showing that he acts and writes papers on behalf of homophobic organizations and views. Poor choice by Bethany, wouldn't you say?

Finally, you seem positively impervious to any speculation about why she hired a lawyer and where she got the money. Thing is, there just can't be an answer to those questions which is consistent with your view that someone (some nonexistent Viking entrepeneurs, it would appear) are on a crusad to deprive Christian job-seekers from being able to find gainful employment so as to pay the bills.

Wake up and smell the incense.

 

6079_Smith_W

If we're playing guilt by association rather than talking about the case at hand you'll probably want to dig this up too:

https://bccla.org/news/2014/03/bccla-to-debate-trinity-western-law-schoo...

In fact, seeing as this other, unrelated issue is scheduled for referendum , it is hard to say if this discrimination complaint is something that will help or harm.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

I didn't mock anything. Nor did I doubt it. How could I when they had an interview with a representative from the school?

I said "unattributed" because the article doesn't specify whether the source was her or the school, or whether they just assumed it.

Why did I think that was significant? Only because of where you took it.

Now speculating based on that that they are bankrolling her, or pushed her into this? There is no evidence for that at all. And even if it were true, I'd be interested to know how you think it will have any bearing on the case at all.

And I am not sure what you mean about that press release. There is one reference, in the last paragraph, that the case concerns discrimination based on religion, which happens to be true. There's no grandstanding or anything else.

I have no intention of doing so, but I am wondering how far I would get here if I started raising quesitons like this about other complaints of discrimination.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Really, Unionist. If you want to blame someone for giving Trinity Western an opportunity here, blame the damned troll. This wouldn't be happening if he hadn't pulled this ridiculous stunt.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Really, Unionist. If you want to blame someone for giving Trinity Western an opportunity here, blame the damned troll. This wouldn't be happening if he hadn't pulled this ridiculous stunt.

I actually never thought of that. Trinity may be behind the Vikings as well. Good sleuthing, Smith!

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Saying they "put her up to this" or wondering about how she got the money for the complaint is a bit of a leap from the comment (unattributed) that they encouraged it.

And it really has no bearing on the main question.

But it does beg the question of whether you would spin this differently if it involved a group advocating action on an issue you support.

Yup. How often does the right respond to a comlpaint about sexism by saying that "feminists put her up to it?"

sherpa-finn

And if a worker applying for a job with a private company was told offhand that s/he would not be considered because their CV indicated past attendance at a labour school or union training program, - our position would be?

Just trying to clarify the principle involved here.

6079_Smith_W

Of course they're behind everything, U.

How quickly we forget that now that we don't have 9-11 posts every day to remind us. We're getting sloppy, clearly.

 

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Yup. How often does the right respond to a comlpaint about sexism by saying that "feminists put her up to it?"

You may have missed the CBC report that she was encouraged to file this complaint by TWU. Of course, the CBC might have just made that up; I admit that's possible, but I can't think why they would have done that. Can you?

But I find it interesting that you would compare Paquette's plight to one of gender discrimination. You realize that the racism, sexism, and so on become kind of formalistic and meaningless when they're invoked to protect dominant sections of society? You realize that "reverse racism", "men's rights", and so forth, even if they look formally similar to the genuine article, are not defended by progressive folks?

 

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

And if a worker applying for a job with a private company was told offhand that s/he would not be considered because their CV indicated past attendance at a labour school or union training program, - our position would be?

Just trying to clarify the principle involved here.

1. It would probably be a lawful position on the part of the employer (unless a case could be made, tough one, that it was part of an attempt to infringe on workers' right to unionize).

2. It would be abominable, of course. We would condemn it. Not because the poor individual has a right to work wherever they want (I know of no such legal or constitutional right in our society). But because we know which side we are on. Don't we?

3. You seem to be invoking the same distressing formalism as A24, by drawing a parallel between a union training program and an institution which enforces heterosexuality among its students. I don't see it that way. Like, sometimes it's good to take up arms, and sometimes it's not. It really depends on whether your cause is just.

Now, if this were a matter of freedom of speech, that would be different. In the unlikely event that someone were being persecuted and suppressed, by private parties or government, for preaching that (e.g.) only male-female marriages should be recognized, then we would and should oppose that persecution - unless it passed into hate speech or something similar. But in that case, like it or not, there would be a fundamental constitutionally protected freedom to uphold.

If, on the other hand, an employer said, "I don't like your expressed attitude to woman/persons of colour/etc., so I'm not hiring you", well, tough luck. It's perfectly lawful, and I wouldn't shed tears if such attitudes became mainstream throughout society.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

You realize that the racism, sexism, and so on become kind of formalistic and meaningless when they're invoked to protect dominant sections of society? You realize that "reverse racism", "men's rights", and so forth, even if they look formally similar to the genuine article, are not defended by progressive folks?

Ooookay. We're going there, eh?

This is getting a little closer to my question upthread. So whom then do you think should not qualify for protection under human rights legislation... in this case, from being asked about their political beliefs in a job interview?

And apparently political beliefs are protected in B.C., unlike some provinces. That's the grounds used in the application, anyway.

And what other rights should be withheld from these people, whomever they are? Freedom of speech? Security of the person?

(funny. I always thought rights and protection from discrimination became meaningless when they didn't apply to everyone)

And yes, that word "encouraged" in the CBC piece is significant, because as I said, it can mean, a lot of things... or not.

 

Unionist

Foolish distortion of my position, Smith, which I have no intention of gracing with a reply.

Unionist

SJ, while I agree with your conclusion (heartily), I just wanted to repeat myself. I do not advocate refusing to hire someone on the basis of their "beliefs" - not just religious beliefs, but even directly racist or sexist or homophobic, apart from any religion - and have never done so above in any post.

Nor do I consider that such refusal to hire would be lawful - except in very exceptional circumstances where the hiring employer is running some specifically religious or other .

I addressed the question of whether one could refuse to hire someone based on their having graduated from a particular institution (in this case TWU), even though it's far from clear that those were the grounds of refusal (the prankster employer claimed she didn't have the requisite certifications). And in that case, I said two things: 1. I know of no law that would prohibit such a hiring criterion (but not being a lawyer, would love to hear different). 2. Some law societies themselves have refused recognition on that sole basis - nothing to do with what the individual "believes", just where they graduated from. 3. I would look favourably on popular movements aimed at shutting down institutions that preach and practice discrimination - or at least forcing them to change their practices. I do believe that's how Jim Crow was successfully attacked in the U.S., and how the world helped defeat South African apartheid. We should learn from those examples.

 

6079_Smith_W

Well I know you aren't suggesting that I should take the opportunity to catch them while they are in their lairs this morning. That would be a bit over the top.

That's why I posed the question... if complaints of discrimination should not be used to protect privileged people, then what other human rights and protections don't apply to them?

If bringing up political beliefs in an interview process is okay so long as it is against a privileged person, then what else is okay to do to them that would be illegal if done to nice people like us? There must be a line.

And who do you consider privileged? I know it's not spelled out in any of the legislation, but I am curious how you work that one. If the troll had happened to say something sexist, then would this privileged person have suddenly become fully human again and qualified for protection? It is kind of confusing.

And if your're bringing up this noble blacklist campaign again I suppose I should ask if there's any work you think these people should  qualify for, or if not, what you think they should do to feed and clothe themselves? And if this is actually all about Trinity Western, and doesn't really have anything to do with the alumni, how does it work? If the school shuts down without changing its policy does it count? Or if the alumni recant their heresy are they eligible for employment again, or are they still blacklisted until the school changes? Or if the school changes but they are still religious does the blacklist stand?

Sorry, it will take a bigger mind than mine to figure that one out. You'll have to walk me through it.

Anyway, here's a synopsis of what IS covered in B.C.

http://www.cba.org/bc/public_media/rights/236.aspx

And to be clear, "political belief" is a catchall phrase meaning any belief, not just support for a political party.

I understand you think it should be okay to refuse employment because of her attending that institution. I kind of see it as splitting hairs. And yes, part of the complaint is a claim that she was refused employment because of that (something that is unclear, because he did say she was unqualified).

But even bringing this up in an interview - also in the complaint - is likely something that crosses the line, just as any other discriminatory statement would be. Again, we'll see what the tribunal has to say.

 

 

 

Slumberjack

From reading through Unionist's position, the 'moral' I took away from this hypothetical story out of the tabloids, apart from some of the theories already laid down here, is that the matter of being discriminated against on the grounds of holding offensive Christian views is as replete with nuance as it is straightforward.  And I think that as a person ascends to the political level of responsibility in this society, where it concerns discrimination against religiously held beliefs it becomes even more important to have that option available to us.  A person who believes in a 5000 year old Earth, and who holds discriminatory beliefs, is manifestly unqualified for any position of authority, unless TWU or someplace similar is hiring.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That's why I posed the question... if complaints of discrimination should not be used to protect privileged people, then what other human rights and protections don't apply to them?

Ok, I'll break my resolve just to cure the above foolishness. Even privileged straight white male Christian wealthy millionaires are fully entitled to all the individual freedoms set out in the Charter and in the human rights legislation of the 12 or so governmental jurisdictions in Canada. Paquette's case: No such freedom was engaged. Sorry to put a crimp in your pilot screening of "Flight of the Straw Men".

6079_Smith_W

I only brought it up because you said a couple of things -  the last time quite explicitly -  implying that the law shouldn't be used to protect everyone.

But thanks for the clarification.

Though as I just said, bringing up her beliefs in an interview process would seem to cross the line. But that is a matter for the tribunal to decide.

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
I do not advocate refusing to hire someone on the basis of their "beliefs" - not just religious beliefs, but even directly racist or sexist or homophobic, apart from any religion - and have never done so above in any post.

It's a debatable point in any event.  The problem of course is that pre-existing, traditional allowances have been made for a range of belief systems and bigotry.  If our society were to begin employing specific criterion for the purposes of exclusion in its vetting processes, with all of the add on's one might conceive of, you'd wind up excluding society itself.  The world would eventually become populated by a classless blob of unemployed untouchables.  The true extent and trajectory of where something like that might go is being determined at present by the whims of the political/economic establishment.

NorthReport
BillBC

Someone asked if there were any Canadian Christian martyrs.  Yes, there are: Brebeuf is perhaps the most famous

NorthReport

Former associates question claims of man behind adventure company at centre of B.C. rights complaint

‘He thinks he’s a cross between James Bond and a soldier of fortune,’ said one professional guide. ‘He’s a Walter Mitty-type character’

 

Sean in Ottawa

I think there are major distinctions in terms of refusing work and while they sound subtle they aren't.

We all agreed that nobody should be denied a job based on their beliefs.

You can deny them based on a reasonable apprehension that they would impose their beliefs -- so if someone says they are Christian it is not unreasonable to say what your policy is (wherever applicable) and ask the person if they have any problem with that or following that policy or not discriminating. If they give an answer that does not give confidence then you have a reason not to hire.

Here is where it gets more interesting when it comes to TWU. It is wrong to refuse someone a job becuase they went to TWU and it does not matter if you give advance notice of this, it would still be illegal and immoral. However, you can state that no experience at TWU can be used to get the job and no degree from that school can be accepted as qualification. This is the approach I would take.

So, if someone came with a TWU degree in hand don't consider it but don't disqualify them based on that either. If they had a degree from a respectable university as well they can apply based on that alone. If they have no degree then the position would have to not require a degree. Just refuse TWU credentials as qualifications.

It gets a bit more complicated in hiring as many jobs are based on a degree or experience and you can apply with life experience. In theory TWU could be part of life experience in the same way as a club or a hobby. The person would have to make their individual case for what they learned and why and show they can do the job. In other words a straight up denial of any credential from TWU is legal but punishment for association is not.

Refusal of a job based on apprehension of biased performance of the job is legal but refusal to hire based on belief is not.

Ability to work with the person is a reason to refuse but only if the beliefs were interfering with the work environment (by that I mean instigated by the person not other people's reaction to the person). Someone who wanted to preach or convert other workers would not get hired but if they were fine with keeping their beliefs from bothering others that should not be a problem.

There are lots of lines here but there is no problem with taking the position that a roll of toilet paper has more value than a degree from TWU.

 

NorthReport

Huge loss for TW tonite.

And screw the BC Benchers - the vote was higher than the two thirds required. These usless Benchers have no choice.

I have heard though this is going all the way to the Supreme Court. TW better not be using taxpayer dollars for any of this.

Trinity Western law school: B.C. Law Society members vote to reverse approval

Decision will likely be ratified by the law society's board on Friday

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/trinity-western-law-schoo...

6079_Smith_W

Excellent news.

Unionist

Yes! Great news! One more step toward the padlock.

And we're not feeling sorry for the poor little TWU grads who are going to find their lawyerly job prospects limited by this blatant discrimination... are we now?

 

NorthReport

Trinity Western Law School's future now in doubt. 

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
It is wrong to refuse someone a job becuase they went to TWU and it does not matter if you give advance notice of this, it would still be illegal and immoral.

Oh really? I won't debate "morality" with you, but what law would be violated?

 

6079_Smith_W

I don't see anyone here defending Trinity Western.

And Unionist, the school hasn't even opened yet. This decision has nothing to do with that case of alleged discrimination.

 

Red Andy

On Thursday, we heard about the decision of BC lawyers to not accredit the proposed Trinity Western Law School - by a strong majority. It's interesting how people use terms like "tolerance" and "freedom" to defend a policy by Trinity Western which comprises, in legal terms, the precise opposite. Folks, this decision is not about bias and bigotry directed towards a school which embodies a religious set of beliefs. This decision is about a key principle of our Constitution and that is equality before the law; whatever your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If you can't uphold that principle as a proposed law school in this province, you cannot be accredited. Thank God! (irony intended)

6079_Smith_W

Let's do the time warp again!

Red Andy

On Thursday, we heard about the decision of BC lawyers to not accredit the proposed Trinity Western Law School - by a strong majority. It's interesting how people defending TWU use terms like "tolerance" and "freedom" to defend a policy by Trinity Western which comprises, in legal terms, the precise opposite. Folks, this decision is not about bias and bigotry directed towards a school which embodies a religious set of beliefs. It's also not about potential intolerance from graduates of the proposed law school. This decision is about a key principle of our Constitution and that is equality before the law; whatever your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If you can't uphold that principle as a proposed law school in this province, you cannot be accredited. Thank God! (irony intended)

Red Andy

Damn it! My comment keeps getting duplicated even after I try to delete it.

Unionist

Red Andy wrote:
Damn it! My comment keeps getting duplicated even after I try to delete it.

You can't delete comments. You can only edit them.

NorthReport

Christian leaders say faith under attack in Canada by governments, regulators

Charles McVety and other leaders say religious rights for Christians being eroded

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/christian-leaders-say-faith-under-attack...

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Christian leaders say faith under attack in Canada by governments, regulators

This is great news!

Is it time to initiate a Fight against Faith™?

Or perhaps, a War on Fervour®?

Recruit me! I'm ready to serve! Send me into Harm's way!

Of course, we'll treat our enemies with the respect they deserve. How about: the Highway of Zeroes?

The possibilities are endless. But victory shall be ours - for God is off our side!!

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Suit up, everyone.  The battle's beginning.

Unionist

Ontario intervenes in case of proposed Trinity Western law school’s ban on sexual activities

Quote:

The Ontario government is likening a proposed Christian law school's requirement of no sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage to a bar against Jews that existed in the province's legal profession nearly 200 years ago.

Ontario says it has insisted that access to the profession be open to all, beginning in 1833, when it abolished a requirement that effectively barred non-Christian lawyers through an insistence on receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, a Christian ritual. In 1892, Clara Brett Martin became the province's first female lawyer, with the support of the Attorney-General.

"Ontarians have a right to expect that they or their children can seek to become lawyers without facing impediments because of their religion, gender or sexual orientation," the province says in a written filing with the Supreme Court.

NorthReport

Thanks Unionist

It is extremely discouraging that TW has gotten as far as they have but hopefully this will be a brick wall for them Maybe as well with the new BC government we can put a stop to this outrageous TW behaviour

Rev Pesky

Let me say up front that I am unalterably opposed to Trinity-Western being allowed to have a law school. I am also opposed to them having a 'University' designation. They are a private religious school, and that's that.

But in the past when I've addressed this issue, I frame it within 'freedom of religion'. Here is the question, does this infringe on people's freedom of religion?

In the past I've said that there isn't any 'freedom of religion', nor can there be. I will stick to that position. This ongoing battle between TWU and the various provinces about acceptance of their students into the bar associations will end up in the Supreme Court. 

How do you think they should decide this?

 

Unionist

Rev Pesky wrote:
This ongoing battle between TWU and the various provinces about acceptance of their students into the bar associations will end up in the Supreme Court.

Have you had a chance to read the article I just posted?

NorthReport wrote:
Maybe as well with the new BC government we can put a stop to this outrageous TW behaviour.

That would be nice. But so far, only Ontario has asked the Supreme Court for intervenor's status.

lagatta4

I don't understand a law school can enforce discrimination that is against the law...

A Unionist sighting! Back from summer holidays?

Unionist

Summer holidays... I wish... thanks, lagatta! Hope you've been well. The struggle needs us all to be in good shape.

Rev Pesky

From Unionist:

Have you had a chance to read the article I just posted?

My apologies. I had not read the article. I knew the  issue was going before the Supreme Court, I didn't know it was already before the court. If I had been a bit more on the ball, I would have seen that.

​Still, it is an issue of great importance in terms of religious freedom, and that is the way TWU (and their supporters) are framing it. The question remains, how should the Supreme Court decide this? My personal feeling is that you can't have religious freedom, for a whole number of reasons.

F'rinstance, what is a religion? Who knows? Here's a link to an etymology dictionary, and the various roots of 'religion'

Religion

We know that some religions have used human sacrifice as a way of appeasing the gods. How far are we willing to go to allow people to appease their own gods?

How many believers does it take to make a religion? One? A hundred? A million? Does a religion need to have a building, or would an email address and website do?

To me it seems obvious that one can't decide on what constitutes religious freedom without creating some definition of religion. I suspect the Supreme Court will not go that route, mostly because it's impossble.

My own feeling is that people are entitled to believe what they want. But that's as far as I'd go. Once they start putting those beliefs into practice, the law has to have a say on what's accepted and what isn't. In other words, no 'freedom of religion'.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Personally, I think the issue (both in the context of TW and also in lots of other contexts here and in other countries) is a bit of subtle "slide" in our definition of religious freedom.

It used to mean permitting individuals to believe, worship and live according to their own beliefs.

Now, increasingly, it means permitting individuals to force others to believe, worship or live according to their own beliefs.

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