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King & Spaulding Face Backlash

What a difference a high profile case makes…

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King & Spaulding, an international law firm, has stepped right in the middle of controversy, and is receiving a lot of grief from the LGBT Community because of its recent decision to take up the defense of DOMA in a federal court case. In February the Obama administration decided to stop defending in court the parts of DOMA it deems unconstitutional. This left a void in DOMA defense in at least a couple of federal court cases, rightfully so.

Then comes John Boehner, Speaker Of The House. He decided that Congress would step in to defend the indefensible DOMA, and to also hire King & Spaulding to the tune of $500,000.00 in taxpayer dollars.

What’s odd is that, at least until now, the law firm has been so supportive and responsive to the LGBT community that it received a rating of 95 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign on its Corporate Equality Index. The law firm has also been a national sponsor of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, provided pro bono work for Lambda, sponsored the organization, works to connect LGBT law students to law firms and even has an LGBT Lawyers page on its website where they post the following mantra…

King & Spalding is committed to having the brightest and most diverse lawyers it can find, including members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. We work hard to foster and maintain an environment where our lawyers can provide the highest level of legal service while being true to themselves in the process. The firm’s non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, domestic partner benefits are offered for same-sex couples.

Now, due to the law firm’s decision to take on the case defending DOMA, the ramifications have already begun. Lambda Legal and the National LGBT Bar Association are considering breaking ties with King & Spaulding. Many of the top law schools in Washington D.C. are prepared to respond to student complaints about the law firm and expect protests when the firm shows up for annual activities.

How does a law firm apparently so devoted to LGBT equality turn in an instant and take on the defense of such an unconstitutional and prejudiced based law? At this time, no one knows, because King & Spaulding simply aren’t talking…

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