Feature

Silencing opponents of gay marriage

When gay-rights activists mounted a “public crusade” of intimidation against King & Spalding, its partners “quickly caved in to pressure,” and said they would not defend DOMA, said Carl Cannon in RealClearPollitics.com.

Carl CannonRealClearPolitics.com

It’s one thing to believe, as I do, that “there should be no legal barriers to gay marriage in this country,” said Carl Cannon. It’s another to argue that defenders of traditional marriage should “be marginalized, silenced, demonized,” and denied their day in court. Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization, tried to do just that by launching a “jihad” against King & Spalding, the law firm hired by Republicans to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court. When gay-rights activists mounted a “public crusade” of shame and intimidation against the firm, its partners “quickly caved in to pressure,” and said they would not defend DOMA. But what a hollow victory.

The firm’s lead partner, Paul Clement, resigned and will defend the law on his own—fulfilling “a basic promise of America,” which is that unpopular defendants and causes also get their day in court. In the past, liberals have correctly insisted that even al Qaida terrorists deserve lawyers and a full legal hearing. Are terrorists really more worthy of a vigorous defense than Americans who sincerely believe that “the word ‘marriage’ is reserved for heterosexuals?”

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