Gay Issues

Lawyer Defends Discrimination Against Gays for $520 an Hour

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Do you wish you can make $520 an hour? Pretty good wage, don't you think? One has to be a professional athlete to make that kind of mint, won't you say? Well, if you are a lawyer willing to defend discrimination and bigotry, that job can be yours.

Paul Clement, a lawyer, is set to be paid that amount, to a total of a cool $500,000 to defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. (Actually he can get paid more than $500,000 if deemed necessary and part of the money would go to his firm for legal services.)

DOMA, as it is commonly called, was set to "protect" marriages from gays who wish to change from on top of wedding cakes, a man and woman, to two guys in tuxes. Or two women in wedding dresses, in some cases.

DOMA, of course, violates the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, which obligates states to honor the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings" of other states. This includes honoring marriages performed in other states. So it is an easy ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA because no matter what someone believes about same sex-marriage, DOMA is a violation of our Constitution. The Obama administration refused to defend this blatantly unconstitutional law, which it is not Constitutionally required to defend anyway -- but rather execute, which the Constitution does require.

But, there is even more to the story. If you are a lawyer with the King and Spalding law firm (under the contract that it signed with Republican Congressman Daniel Lungren), any lawyer with this firm cannot work to repeal DOMA.

The contract states, "partners and employees who do not perform services pursuant to this Agreement will not engage in lobbying or advocacy for or against any legislation ... that would alter or amend in any way the Defense of Marriage Act and is pending before either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate or any committee of either body during the term of the Agreement."

So this contract is a restriction on the free speech rights of citizens on the United States, who have nothing to do with this case. So if you are a janitor in this law firm, you cannot under this contract, write a letter to the editor arguing against repeal of DOMA. For Republican members in the U.S. Congress, this is more important than ensuring that American taxpayers don't pay $520 an hour to a lawyer defending discrimination.

Mr. Clement has quit this firm to defend the act, because the firm decided not to defend this unconstitutional law. So Mr. Clement just isn't in the case for the money it seems, he truly believes gays are a threat to our society and culture, and should be continued to be treated as 2nd class citizens in their own country.

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