The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal in Trinity Western University’s dispute with the British Columbia College of Teachers.
The dispute dates back to 1996 when the teachers’ college rejected the university’s application to run a fully accredited teacher education program. The issue was not the school’s academic program but rather its insistence that students conform to standards that prohibit premarital sex and homosexual behaviour, among other things.
The teachers’ union has called the ban on homosexual behaviour discriminatory and says it believes teachers trained at Trinity would not be able to treat gays and lesbians equally. Trinity appealed the teachers’ college’s decision and won at the B.C. Supreme Court in 1997. The teachers’ college appealed that decision but the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Trinity in 1998. Now the Supreme Court of Canada will be the final arbiter.