May 13th, 2011
When King and Spaulding announced that they would not be defending DOMA on behalf of the House of Representatives – after partner Paul Clement had announced that they would – anti-gay activists had a field day. Words like “intolerance” and “homosexual activist bullies” screamed across headlines in articles designed to portray the gay community as a collection of thugs who forced a poor defenseless international law firm into following the insidious homosexual agenda.
Even mainstream newspapers and editorial staff immediately assumed that the homosexuals were being too pushy and self-righteously took the opportunity to remind gay people that while gay rights may be worth fighting for, they really are just a “cause”, you see, and not so important that you can’t play nicely. Pointing out to a lawfirm that DOMA hurts gay people is, well, Un-American.
The Washington Post ran an editorial titled King & Spalding and HRC do a disservice to American values in which they declared:
HRC is right to fight vigorously to overturn DOMA, which deprives gays and lesbians of many of the rights enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts. But it sullies itself and its cause by resorting to bullying tactics.
At the San Francisco Chronicle, a writer indignantly asserted “Case closed. This is intimidation. This is intolerance.”
I do believe that HRC bungled this situation. They behaved like jerks, adopted high-pressure tactics as their first option, and presented our community in about the worst light possible. Threatening to send out letters to K&S clients and then bragging on TV when the case was dropped was about the most stupid course of action that could be imagined.
If there are any of our readers who still contribute to HRC, this might be a good opportunity to look for another organization – one that has a better ear for political tone.
That being said, it is not unreasonable to remind a company – including law firms – that engaging in anti-gay activism or acquiescing to the demands of anti-gay activists will cost them the support of gay people and our friends, family, neighbors, supporters, and all people who value equality. As equality becomes more and more the national favored opinion, companies will find that being “neutral” on matters of sexual orientation equality will be viewed like being “neutral” on racial equality or gender equality. Forward thinking CEO’s may well be receptive to reminders about future image, provided that they aren’t made to be fools in the press.
But as it turns out, neither HRC’s bragging nor anti-gay activists’ shrieking are based in reality. King & Spaulding dropped the DOMA defense because Paul Clement never had it approved in the first place. He signed the case without following procedures or giving the firm an opportunity to measure the benefits or detriments of such a course of action.
The Fulton County Daily Report decided to look into things and found an entirely different chain of events than that which the big papers just assumed had happened. (Via WSJ)
But the Daily Report spoke to two firm lawyers and a third source anonymously who said that the DOMA matter was not fully submitted to King & Spalding”s business review committee, a firm requirement, before Clement signed a contract obligating the firm. They said the committee immediately began reviewing the case the day after the firm learned of the contract—and rejected it the next day, according to the Daily Report.
The sources said the firm’s partners were taken by surprise when news broke that Clement had taken the case. “Any matter that is controversial in any way or where there is a discounted rate goes through the business review committee,” one of the sources told the Daily Report, noting that the DOMA engagement was both controversial and had a discounted rate.
The King & Spalding sources, according to the Daily Report, said that there was widespread, adamant opposition to the DOMA case within the firm. “”It sticks a finger in the eye of people,” said one source, referring to the firm’s gay lawyers and staff.
And, a source said, the case did not fit the firm’s business mission. “King & Spalding is a corporate law firm—not a constitutional firm.”
I believe that there could have been a way that Clement could defend DOMA and that Spaulding & King could have worked with our community to craft a statement that did not back K&S into a corner. But Clement did not consider his firm’s interests and it was his arrogance and presumptions about DOMA and public opinion that ultimately embarrassed the firm.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.