Klassen-WRPS v. Star of the Sea Parish [2021]

12 October 2021
This was a BC Human Rights Tribunal case to argue for the ability of religious groups to rent their facilities in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. The EFC was granted intervenor status, but later the participants opted out of the tribunal process.

This case, formally known as Klassen on behalf of White Rock Pride Society v Star of the Sea Parish, involved a Roman Catholic parish that refused to rent out their meeting facility for a fundraising event by a group whose purposes were deemed to be in conflict with church teaching.

The challenge raised in this case was whether, by renting out their facilities, the parish was acting like a business and therefore could not refuse to rent to a group whose activities are inconsistent to their doctrines. The EFC would have defended the ability of religious entities to rent out their facilitates without compromising their beliefs. Religious charities should be able to contribute to the broader community by allowing access to their facilitates while ensuring that their facilities are not used in ways that would violate their religiously founded principles.

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