By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — The N.C. Supreme Court has nixed a plan by the State Bar Council to add controversial language to the Preamble of its Rules of Professional Conduct that would have obliged attorneys not to consider “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” when deciding whom they represent or hire.
“The High Court’s decision not to approve the change is a victory for Tar Heel attorneys’ freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Had they endorsed this misguided proposal, attorneys with Judeo-Christian beliefs would be caught in a no-win situation. Plus, the Bar would have set a bad precedent for other professional groups and given added momentum to the push to get this language introduced into state laws.”
The proposed amendment to the preamble, endorsed by the North Carolina State Bar in January, stated: “While employed or engaged in a professional capacity, a lawyer should not discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. This responsibility of non-discrimination does not prohibit a lawyer’s advocacy on any issue.”
Many lawyers may not have paid much attention to the suggested change and still others who support the homosexual agenda may have felt it was needed, but Anthony Biller, an intellectual property attorney from Cary, points out that the proposed amendment went well beyond homosexuality.
“By extending the ethical guideline to ‘sexual orientation’ the authors draw a circle of protection … to include all forms of sexual orientation, which includes pedophilia, polygamy, bestiality, sadomasochism, necrophilia and every other form of sexual deviancy,” Biller wrote in a Feb. 10 letter to the Supreme Court justices reminding them that many of those forms of sexual orientation are in fact felonies under North Carolina law.” Since this draft was promulgated by a committee of intelligent and experienced attorneys, one can presume this broad classification was intentional and that these few attorneys intend the Bar to impose radical social philosophy regarding human sexuality on all practicing attorneys in North Carolina.”
In urging the justices to reject the proposal, Biller wrote that “gender identity is an anathema to the Bliblical concept that God intentionally created men and women unique from each other that that God chose each person’s gender.” He said the amended preamble would mean that attorneys could not refuse to associate, hire or represent based on someone’s philosophy of gender and that it would certainly protect “cross dressers, transsexuals and men who would prefer to use the ladies latrine in my office.”
Biller was far from alone in his concern over the proposal. Jere Royall, counsel for the North Carolina Family Policy Council also submitted a letter to the justices asserting that not only would the change create a protected status for behaviors that “many understand to be harmful physically, psychologically and spiritually,” but that the addition of the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” neither of which are defined in North Carolina law, “would violate the United States’ and North Carolina’s Constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and religion, whether now as part of an ‘aspirational’ statement, or later when they may be included in a different part of the rules, and become the basis for disciplinary action against the attorney.”
The Alliance Defense Fund had weighed in on the issue as early as 2009, pointing out the problems in a very similar rules revision that was proposed but then withdrawn in July of that year by a subcommittee of the N.C. State Bar Ethics Committee. The withdrawal came after hundreds of attorneys from across the state expressed their opposition, many mailing their own letters of protest and others signing onto the ADF letter.
Still, the Bar brought the issue back to the table and gave its approval early this year sending it on to the High Court. And even though Lawyers Weekly reported in a March 16 article that the justices’ rejection of the proposed amendment “means the issue is dead,” Biller said he wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up again.
“I would anticipate this issue or some variation thereof resurfacing at some point in the future within the state bar, though it could be in another form, such as from another committee opining on a substantive area of law,” he said.
In his letter to the N.C. Supreme Court he called the push to amend the preamble “a transparent attempt to obtain the credibility of a state bar organization to endorse one side in a disputed political and moral debate while suppressing the other side.”
The Rev. Creech agreed and urged Christian attorneys across the state to be vigilant in their efforts to keep the North Carolina Bar from being used as a vehicle for the homosexual agenda. He also suggested that residents from all walks of life keep an eye on this and other professional groups that are embracing this radical social agenda.