The Supreme Court of Canada won’t allow an appeal in a BC case that highlighted the freedom of secular university instructors and students to question Judeo-Christian morality without facing a lawsuit for discriminating against Christians.
Cynthia Maughan sued the University of BC in 2002 after she unsuccessfully appealed a B-minus mark she received in lesbian English professor Lorraine Weir’s transgressive literature class.
The Anglican-identifying Maughan alleged UBC discriminated against her as a Christian.
She alleged she was subjected to hatred and contempt in UBC’s graduate English department. She named four teachers, including Weir, in the suit.
Maughan had filed a leave to appeal with Canada’s high court after a 2008 BC Supreme Court ruling against her was upheld in the BC Court of Appeal last October.
The BC Supreme Court noted the relationship between Weir and Maughan was “highly charged and adversarial.”
The appeals court upheld the BC Supreme Court finding that there was no admissible evidence before Justice Austin Cullen that the disharmony was attributable to religious discrimination or bad faith dealings on the part of Weir or the other respondents.
The appeals court ruled Maughan’s claim was not based on evidence but on her interpretation of evidence and inferences she drew from it.
The appeals court awarded costs to UBC.
In refusing to reopen the case, the Supreme Court of Canada — with Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin, Justice Rosalie Abella and Justice Marshall Rothstein presiding — upheld the ruling in UBC’s favour.
As is customary, the Supreme Court of Canada did not give reasons for its decision.