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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Lawyers call Canadian court case turning point for religious freedom

Religious freedom in Canada is facing a “watershed moment” and may be “on an abyss of a revolutionary change,” argued lawyers in a Supreme Court of Canada case involving a Christian university’s proposed law school.

“The impact of the case will be significant for a generation,” said Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League.

The league was among several interveners before the Supreme Court on 30th November and 1st December in support of the right of Trinity Western University to maintain its mandatory community covenant banning sexual activity outside of traditional marriage.

The lawyers argued that a ruling against Trinity Western could ultimately impact all faith-based schools, charities and organisations that fail to align with society’s prevailing views on sexuality and morality, encompassing issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia.

“We certainly see this decision as a watershed moment in how the courts will interpret and apply not just religious freedom rights, but religious associational rights and equality rights on the basis of religion,” said Derek Ross, president and general counsel for the Christian Legal Fellowship.

Picture: A woman walks past the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario. Religious freedom in Canada is facing a “watershed moment” and may be “on an abyss of a revolutionary change,” argued lawyers in a Supreme Court of Canada case involving a Christian university’s proposed law school. (CNS photo/ Chris Wattie, Reuters).