An evangelical Christian university in Canada announced Tuesday that students will no longer be required to abide by a “community covenant” barring same-sex relationships or any other form of sexual activity "that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."
The decision by Trinity Western University’s Board of Governors comes about two months after the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the denial of accreditation to Trinity Western’s proposed law school due to concerns about the covenant and discrimination against LGBTQ students. The court found that in denying Trinity Western’s proposed law school accreditation, the Law Society of Upper Canada “was entitled to conclude that equal access to the legal profession, diversity within the bar, and preventing harm to LGBTQ law students were all within the scope of its duty to uphold the public interest.”
In a statement Tuesday, Trinity Western president Bob Kuhn said the decision to make the covenant nonmandatory for students was taken with the view that it would "successfully position us to better fulfil the TWU mission." The full text of the motion approved by Trinity Western's board reads as follows:
“In furtherance of our desire to maintain TWU as a thriving community of Christian believers that is inclusive of all students wishing to learn from a Christian viewpoint and underlying philosophy, the community covenant will no longer be mandatory as of the 2018-19 academic year with respect to admission of students to, or continuation of students at, the university."
A Trinity Western spokeswoman confirmed that the covenant will remain mandatory for faculty, staff and administrators.