Letter to the Editor: September 25th. 2014

Trinity Western University Law School has earned the ire of many New Brunswick lawyers (Lawyers vote to bar grads from Trinity University, Moncton Times & Transcript, Sept 15, B5). Why? Because of Trinity’s homophobic policy: its refusal to permit same-sex intimacy for students studying law.

Trinity has a New Brunswick cousin – Moncton’s Crandall University. The details differ, but the public pronounced anti-gay stance is parallel. At Crandall, no faculty or staff can engage in same-sex intimacy.

Under the same homophobic banner there are other differences, particularly in this present discussion. Trinity University produces law students, they become lawyers. Crandall produces education students, they become teachers.

Second, Trinity accepts no public funds from provincial or national governments. Crandall has been the recipient in the last decade of millions of tax dollars from New Brunswick and Canadian governments. Millions from all of us – straight and gay alike.

To be fair, Crandall doesn’t spend the money on salaries of staff or faculty; they’re straight about that. No, funds are used for other purposes – bricks, building, offices, office supplies, a library.

Former New Brunswick ombudsman Bernard Richard voted in favour of barring Trinity law graduates: “The main issue is that an institution is discriminating against those who would want to become law students there and, to me, that is not acceptable.”

That is not quite true of Crandall. The main issue at Crandall is that an institution is discriminating against those who would want to work there as faculty or staff. It is not acceptable that an institution receiving public funds discriminates against a significant proportion of that public.

Kudos to lawyer Judy Begley. She puts the matter clearly that it is never acceptable to “marginalize, demonize or denigrate” any group of persons – gay or straight.

Eldon Hay