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Monday, December 29, 2008

AZ Bar Association| 'Licensing' morality out of the law

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'Licensing' morality out of the law

by Charlie Butts - One News Now

Could lawyers be thrown out of the profession based on their religious conviction against homosexuality?

The State Bar of Arizona is considering whether to require new attorneys to swear they will not let their views on sexual orientation get in the way of providing legal services. Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University's Law School, is concerned.

"I believe that this is a major threat to the practice of law," he contends. "This is an attempt to literally license those out of business and to revoke the license of those who, in fact, have traditional moral values."

Staver believes the campaign is going nationwide and will be a tool used by homosexuals to hold back Christian lawyers. "If they then can hold over your head the license and the ability to practice law, that will be a devastating blow to those of us who believe in traditional family values," he points out.

According to Staver, this is an issue that lawyers and law school students cannot ignore. "It's a ticking time bomb," he concludes. "It is a land mine just waiting for someone to step on them."

The Arizona Bar plans to make a decision in January.

Original Article OneNewsNow

Beetle Blogger has a good article here

18 comments:

  1. So basically you can't get registered as a lawyer if you disagree with the homosexual agenda. That's very tolerant of them.

    They word it in such a way "sexual orientation" to make is sound like you are the equivalent to a racist if you reject homosexual acts.

    People should not be discriminated against because they have a same sex attraction but you should be able to voice your disapproval at homosexual acts.

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  2. ALL – (as an attorney)

    This is more serious than is immediately implied.

    #1. Just the specter of taking away someone’s livelyhood & license to practice causes a great “chilling effect” on what one says and does in law school & beyond

    #2. This also reinforces the fierce tone in our countries law schools that the professorate should not (for their personal reputation & careers) EVER question the gay political agenda.

    #3. The battle to neuter marriage is fought largely in the courts. With the countries law schools grooming gay activists and discouraging pro-marriage activists – They (in this way) insure an even greater advantage in the future.

    #4. For years now (FYI) The Bar association has forced firms large & small that participate in career fairs on campus to sign affidavits that they will not “discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation.

    #5. The Bar associations like multiple professional associations have gone through the long march of the sixties. At this point in their leadership they are at the height of their institutional power. Unlike previous professionals they are much more politicized and are willing to (shamelessly) exploit this power.

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  3. Those are excellent points I hadn't thought of Fitz. It's true that every little chip makes it's mark against freedom, but this one is a substantial move.

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  4. Numbers 3 and 5 are especially chilling. It is apparent that family and marriage are being attacked from all sides and this is a long-term movement, not just a whim. Thanks for reminding us that activism in defense of traditional marriage is even more crucial than we may understand at present.

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  5. #2. This also reinforces the fierce tone in our countries law schools that the professorate should not (for their personal reputation & careers) EVER question the gay political agenda.

    This is where it is so wrong. We should be able to question anything.

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  6. I think you misunderstand the point of this legislation. The idea is to ask lawyers to "swear they will not let their views on sexual orientation get in the way of providing legal services". Don't you think that's fair?

    1. They can have all the homophobic views they like- just as long as they don't allow their "values" to interfere with the way they treat clients. This will mean fairer treatment for all people.

    2. No-one has suggested removing people with homophobic views form the law system. It is only sggested that those who allow their moral stance to cloud their judgemnet- ie. are not practising the law as they ought to be- who will be rejected.

    3. Lawyers and judges are not allowed to make biased decisions based on race, age, religion or size- why should they be able to distinguish between homo-and heterosexuals? It does not relate to any legal procedure, and so should not come into the equation. Arizona is just formalizing this- as many other countries have already.

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  7. "Free,"

    Who are you to make assurances to these thousands of attorneys that the wording in their oath will in no way be turned against them? If Arizona attorneys are feeling nervous about this proposal, even with assurances from Arizona State Bar President Ed Novak's, then I dare say your claims of innocence and purity of intention will fall far short of easing their concerns (or the rest of ours, for that matter).

    1. This is your interpretation of this proposal.

    2. This is your interpretation of this proposal.

    3. As of right now, lawyers and judges do not have to take cases that they do not agree with based on religious conviction. Should the oath's new wording take effect, that right could come under question and under fire. This last question of yours proves exactly why this fear exists for these attorneys - because there are people who believe that they shouldn't be allowed to work with a conscience.

    First you say, "It'll never happen; it'll never happen." Then you negate your assurances by saying, "But...so what if it does? Isn't that just?"

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  8. If this new rule does come in then there is the potential that their personal views will be silenced. This is hardly fair.

    If the new rule does not come in then lawyers can still go about their task free from potential harassment.

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  9. Pearl:

    1. The whole point of legislation is that it is not open to interpretation. That is what it says. Clearly.

    2. The whole point of legislation is that it is not open to interpretation. That is what it says. Clearly.

    The reason judges don't take cases which they disagree with because of religious conviction is that religion should not interfere with their actions. They don't take cases which they would not hear fairly.

    Also, it is the "cases" which they are allowed to refuse, not the people involved in the case. Being gay oughtn't to affect a ruling, just as a person being black shouldn't.

    Also, please stop putting my name in inverted commas. It is mildly irritating.

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  10. Secular Heretic, the judges etc can still have their personal views- they just can't let them affect their work. Which seems to be fair.

    By this ruling, why should lawyers be "harrassed"? The act only seeks to protect the vulnerable people in the legal system- those who it seeks to protect or bring to justice, and who at the moment may not be being treated fairly.

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  11. "Free,"

    "The whole point of legislation is that it is not open to interpretation. That is what it says. Clearly."

    False. There are often ambiguities in legislation which are subject to interpretation.

    I agree that religion should not interfere with rulings and treatment of clients. But I believe what is feared by Arizona attorneys is that they will be required, by this new oath vocabulary, to take on cases which specifically deal with matters contrary to their religious beliefs. Of course attorneys shouldn't discriminate against a case based solely on the client's sexual orientation. That would be wrong. But they should be able to decline to defend a case for which the premise (not the sexual orientation of the client involved) goes against their religious beliefs. The distinction is so subtle: one wrongly discriminates against an individual and the other correctly discriminates against an issue. And, understandably, attorneys in Arizona are afraid that the inclusion of the words "sexual orientation" in the oath will leave that distinction open to someone else's interpretation, ultimately putting them between a rock (conscience) and a hard place (job).

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  12. "Free,"

    "The act only seeks to protect the vulnerable people in the legal system."

    Again, you are stating your interpretation of this proposal as if it were fact. Do you realize that there will always be someone who could argue contrary to your interpretation? Opposition in all things. It's very real. What happens to these attorneys when they are suddenly required to defend a homosexual "marriage" against religion? Take the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association case v. Bernstein and Paster, for example. Let's pretend that the oath proposal was already approved in Arizona and that Ocean Grove is in Phoenix rather than Jersey, but still not allowing a homosexual civil union to take place under their Saguaro canopy. With the new oath's exclusion of consideration of sexual orientation, a lawyer may, depending on the governing body's interpretation of the circumstances, more easily come under fire for refusing to represent the homosexual couple against religion. It is the possibility (and I would even be so bold as to say probability) of activist interpretation partiality that has attorneys running scared. And why not?! Look what activist judges in California subjected the state to based on their interpretation of the constitution.

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  13. "subjected the state to"

    Tell me how the state suffered, please. I understand that people feared that their children would be somehow "indoctrinated" with "gay ideals", but did this happen? No. What did happen was that a traditionally marginalised and despised group finally gained the oppurtunities the rest of the state took for granted.

    Also, please give an example of when a lawyer would have to take a case "homosexual couple against religion".

    Again, the inverted commas are getting a little old. Please stop.

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  14. By this ruling, why should lawyers be "harrassed"? The act only seeks to protect the vulnerable people in the legal system.

    Because of all the hate crimes directed against people who claim that homosexual acts are immoral. Staver, a lawyer working in the industry, believes the campaign will be a tool used to hold back Christian lawyers.

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  15. Just read at Beetle Blogger that a judge has been sacked because he was accused of being "homophobic". This is exactly why the addition to this oath must never come about.

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  16. What about all the people who are attacked for being homosexual, or being perceived to be, whose attackers are sometimes not punished because of the prejudices of the judges on their case? The victim has done nothing wrong, and yet is not given the benefit of a fair legal system as every other person is- and this happens more frequently than your situation.

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  17. "Free,"

    You are straying from the subject of the AZ oath and doing so with vague assertions about supposed judicial prejudices. And, in keeping with these vague assertions, you claim, "...this happens more frequently than your situation."

    Tit for tat? Seriously? "We're discriminated against (according to...oh that's right, you didn't give any hard evidence, just transparent allusions) which means we can impose any (supposedly) anti-discriminatory legislation we want on you."

    This 30+ year Arizona attorney veteran could clarify a few things for you on this matter...with authority.

    ReplyDelete

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