Here’s a DOMA update and flash–the law firm hired by Speaker Boehner to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the increasing number of federal court cases challenging this unjust law has withdrawn. King and Spalding that I wrote about several day’s ago based in Atlanta that has an entire page of its website devoted not only to celebrating the diversity of the law firm but specifically the ways it highlights its LGBT community support and its LGBT attorneys has pulled out. The contradiction in its principles were too much. On the one hand promote LGBT diversity and equality while representing interests that would diminish the dignity of gay and lesbian people.
But the prinicple attorney, former solicitor general under the Bush Administration, Paul Clement has resigned from the firm in protest so he may keep the case.
Robert Hays, Jr. chair of the firm said in a press release:
“In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate.” He continued, “last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.” The contract with the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives, a standing body in the House headed by Speaker John Boehner, had included a provisionprohibiting King & Spalding partners and employees from engaging in “lobbying or advocacy for or against any litigation” that would “alter or amend” DOMA.
Clement has gone now to Bancroft, PLLC.
We will see whether the case moves forward in a timely fashion. Or this development delays the trial in New York courts. Certain hearings were to begin in early May.
But the conflict in values ought to be noted. You can’t defend discrimination on the one hand and yet support equality of the same folks on the other, it smacks of hypocrisy. Luckily King and Spalding partners recognized this and have withdrawn. Yes there are others who will continue to defend this federal law that blesses discrimination against gay and lesbian married couples. But let’s hope our justice system once and for all puts the nail in the coffin of DOMA.