Faith Forbidden By License

arizona-lawyerArizona Bar Proposes PC Lawyer Litmus Test

Arizona’s State Bar is considering forbidding the licensing of lawyers who have a religious conviction against homosexuality from being able to practice law in that state.  This is an outrageous litmus test against freedom of conscience.

Throwing out constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of association, the proposed revision to the attorneys’ oath of office would silence certain viewpoints on gay issues. The oath would be revised to add the language in red as follows:

“I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

The pressure to present the homosexual lifestyle as a right not a choice has been stopped in Arizona government by the voice of the people, but the AZ State Bar is moving forward with this attempt to silence moral opposition regardless.

According to the East Valley Tribune, The move has provoked severe objections from 31 attorneys who sent a letter to state Bar President Ed Novak.

“Tim Casey, one of those who is unhappy with the proposal, said it raises all sorts of issues. Casey, who is Catholic, said the language of the oath is so broad that it could require an attorney to accept a case that goes against his or her moral beliefs.”

The State Bar of Arizona is a mandatory association for attorneys practicing law in Arizona, and they have the power to revoke the license of any attorney they believe has violated this provision.  A clause like this has no place in an oath of office.  Oaths are used generally to swear allegiance to the laws of the land and nothing more.  Adding a controversial restriction on  First Amendment rights in order to promote a politically correct agenda is an inappropriate abuse of power by the Bar.

Regardless of what you personally believe about homosexuality, this kind of limitation on religious liberty should not be tolerated.

—Beetle Blogger

‘Licensing’ morality out of the law

Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow

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.

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10 Comments

  1. Pearl said,

    December 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Holy smokes! This is beyond comprehension. Any idea how to contact the AZ State Bar Association?

  2. December 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Kind of reminds me of Åke Green a few years ago in Sweden.

    Do you know if there is anything defining what exactly is meant by “duty of care” according to the AZ Bar? Does it mean they can’t deny a case themselves, or does it refer to the manner in which they act in cases already taken (i.e., how they treat a gay person generally in the context of an ongoing lawsuit)?

  3. December 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    It just confuses the issue. They use the term “sexual orientation” to make it sound like you are the equivalent to a racist if you protest against the homosexual agenda.

    They need to distinguish between homosexual acts and people who have a same sex attraction.

    Lawyers should not discriminate against people who do have a same sex attraction and I think this is partly what the law is trying to do. The problem is, should the lawyer protest about homosexual acts including homosexual marriage etc it just gets lumped int the same “sexual orientation” basket.

    They seem to be confusing the difference between a persons internal desires and a persons objective acts they may perform.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    December 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Secular H., that has been the great confusion in this whole same sex marriage debate and in homosexuality debates in general. You nailed it. There is nothing objectionable about people who suffer from SSA, it’s only acting on that attraction and demanding society accept those behaviors. Of course no one should treat another human being badly, but accepting their actions is a whole different argument.

  5. Pearl said,

    December 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Dead Seriously,

    Ed Novak, president of the State Bar of Arizona, claims that the new exclusion will only require attorneys to treat current clients with care; not that it will deny attorneys the right to refuse to take cases.

    HOWEVER

    What concerns the attorneys who are fighting this additional wording is that the very phrase you are wondering about, “duty of care,” is so vague as to lend itself to a certain amount of interpretation…including, possibly, denying right of conscience. Where sexual orientation is already protected by other facets of the law, including non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, it doesn’t seem to be necessary to add this new wording. This is the very reason it is suspect.

    It is my opinion that we should always scrutinize the reasons for sudden changes like this one. In the wake of Proposition 8 and with the recent vote to protect traditional marriage in Arizona, what or who is urging the State Bar of AZ to consider this change? What do they hope to gain by these new words that isn’t already protected by law? Why now? Why, why, why? Additionally, lining up sexual orientation with high-rollers such as race and religion only adds fuel to the fire of the question of whether or not sexual orientation can command “rights.” I’ll admit, I am suspicious.

  6. SuperFlea said,

    December 30, 2008 at 2:13 am

    It seems to me that this is wholly unconstitutional on it’s face. Maybe those who are proposing it should be removed from their positions of authority at the first opportunity. It is time to stand up and fight… enough is enough.

  7. Rick said,

    December 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I don’t know much about this so I am asking a few questions here. As a lawyer wouldn’t you have to defend all kinds of people? For example murderers, child molesters, rapists, etc. You don’t agree with their lifestyle but they would still be defended. So if a gay is accused of murder, how is that different? However, I can see the problem in a case where a gay is claiming discrimination because of sexual orientation but then you would probably be defending someone who is straight against accusations of discrimination.

    I am wondering why lawyers can’t have the same recusal privileges as judges. Two sections of Title 28 of the United States Code (the Judicial Code) provide standards for judicial disqualification or recusal. Section 455, captioned “Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge,” provides that a federal judge “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

    So why can’t a lawyer be disqualified form a case where his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned?

    As a supporter of traditional marriage I still think gays need access to lawyers. Just let’s get civilized and let lawyers opt out of cases they don’t want to defend. Besides, who wants a lawyer who doesn’t have his or her heart and soul fully engaged in your defense?

  8. liberty belle said,

    December 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    This is from a comment Fitz made on this subject earlier:

    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.

  9. californiacrusader said,

    January 3, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Thanks Liberty Belle for your clarification. That’s the problem with so many of these seemingly innocent steps by gay activists – they end up having far reaching, unforeseen consequences.

  10. January 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    This ties in well with your other article 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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