Who Is the Victim of Discrimination?

I’m hoping for early year clarification of the situation at Western Trinity University, a privately funded Fraser Valley uiniversity fighting for the right to live with a code of ethics for students and staff. The code – known as the TWU Community Covenant – is something staff and students are asked to agree to when they sign up to teach or to learn.
One clause in the Covenant requires a pledge to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” No one seems to have placed much importance on that particular demand until WTU announced it was expanding its education programs with the establishment of a faculty of law. Only then did provincial law societies rise in their wrath to protest discrimination against student and faculty, male and female, with same-sex preferences. I wonder why the law societies see only homosexuals as being discriminated against? Have fornication and adultery, considered sexual intimacies that violate the sacredness of marriage since men and women first pledged their troth, lost status in what we call the new normal? I wonder what the reaction of law societies would be if a strong advocate of male-female sex without marital boundaries launched a suit against WTU charging discrimination?
Laughable? Probably, but the current issue doesn’t involve people who engage in things heterosexual. Same sex supporters, often too quickly offended, launched law suits; the university countered. Some who first announced support for WTU did instant turnarounds from welcoming a new faculty to condemning WTU’s mandate as a clear act of discrimination – against gays. Some provincial governments joined the objectors; others still hover on the brink to wait, as do I, for clarification and calm judicial guidance.
I have written before in support of WTU’s right to establish whatever moral code it wishes staff and students to meet. It is a privately funded, Christian based university. No student or would be faculty member is forced to attend or teach – or work in the front office. There are other universities without “mandates” – with one or two named in recent headlines as scrambling for codes of conduct in the wake of grossly disreputable behavior by male students to female students.
The November 6 issue of the Globe and Mail reported Clayton Ruby (a Toronto lawyer representing an openly gay man who feels WTU’s mandate strongly discriminatory) had asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to consider consolidating several legal petitions now pending on the WTU issue. The story said Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson had agreed “to hear several issues over two days later this month”.
The findings will not resolve the legal issues raised, but they will, I hope, provide a clear road map of where we are and why and how we define discrimination. And I add, as I did before when writing on this issue, I am not and never have been involved in any way with WTU. I view their charter as too unforgiving and lacking in the warmth of understanding and tolerance.
I would never sign such a document but firmly believe the university has the right to have such a code of conduct. And I hope the courts, eventually, rule that way.

3 comments

  1. I agree with you. TWU has a clear code of conduct for their students to live by. The code does not state that a student must not have a friend who violates that conduct. The code does not state that the student must only have contact in their personal and professional life with people who live by the same code. And I don’t think the code requires the student to live the rest of their lives with that code. I read it to mean that while a student at TWU one lives by that code of conduct. I do not understand why everyone is in a fuss over that code of conduct. Too bad that other universities don’t have a stated code of conduct for students to follow.

  2. How does a personal code of conduct impact the various law societies that are up in arms. Are they implying that none of their members has a code of conduct or specific personal beliefs. That’s an interesting concept!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s