By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — Controversial language that would bestow special protections based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” and could be used against attorneys who hold fast to Judeo-Christian beliefs has once again made its way into a proposal before the N.C. Bar.
The agency responsible for regulating the legal profession in North Carolina is considering an amendment to the preamble of its Rules of Professional Conduct that would state: “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.”
Hundreds of Tar Heel attorneys asked the State Bar to reject a very similar preamble revision proposed earlier this year and later withdrawn. At that time, the Alliance Defense Fund wrote a letter to the Bar pointing out that the proposed amendment would threaten the autonomy of attorneys to refuse representing clients whose claims are repugnant to their own views and that it would violate attorneys’ freedoms of association, speech and religion.
A third version of the proposed amendment, defined in an accompanying comment as an “aspirational goal of the legal profession,” is now being considered.
“They can couch it however they wish, but that doesn’t mitigate the problems created when we as a culture give sexual behaviors the same protections as sacred religious beliefs and immutable characteristics such as race and age,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We urge legal professionals across the state to speak out in opposition to this misguided proposal.”
Anthony Biller, an intellectual property attorney from Cary, said the amendment, which some have claimed is intended to prevent discrimination against homosexuals, would go much further.
“By extending the ethical guideline to ‘sexual orientation,’ the authors draw a circle of protection well beyond homosexuality to include all forms of sexual orientation, which includes pedophilia, polygamy, bestiality, sadomasochism, necrophilia and every other form of sexual deviancy,” he said, pointing out that many of those sexual behaviors remain felonies in North Carolina.
The proposed reference to “gender identity” also would have broad implications.
“NC attorneys could not refuse to associate, hire or represent based on someone’s philosophy of gender,” Biller wrote in an entry on his Sapphire Sky blog (sapphiresky.org). “This would certainly protect cross dressers, transsexuals and men who would prefer to use the ladies latrine in my office.”
The proposed rule, to be voted on by Bar leadership later this year, would then go the North Carolina Supreme Court for final approval. Although its effects would first be felt in the legal community, its ramifications could be far-reaching.
“These legal organizations are often consulted by the General Assembly when new laws are working their way through the legislative process,” said the Rev. Creech. “North Carolinians who oppose same-sex marriage should keep their eyes on the N.C. State Bar and any other professional groups that are embracing this radical social agenda.”
Take Christian Action:
To comment on the proposed rule change write to L. Thomas Lunsford II, North Carolina State Bar, P.O. Box 25908, Raleigh, NC 27611 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.