Action Alert!

Gay-rights bullying

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 26, 2011

King and Spalding, one of the world’s more powerful international law firms, has reneged on a commitment, dropping a client because of political pressure.

You might want to know: Who is this 97-pound weakling, who has been kicked to the curb by more robust political forces? Answer: the US House of Representatives. A Wall Street Journal editorial note summarizes the situation:

King and Spalding dropped the House of Representatives as a client yesterday only days after agreeing to argue for the House in defending the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or Doma.

If you have been following the progress of gay-rights advocacy, you should not be surprised by this latest development. The drive for acceptance of same-sex marriage has never been fueled by popular sentiment, but by equal measures of judicial activism and public intimidation. To date, American voters have never supported same-sex marriage, except when they have been persuaded to view it as a fait accompli. Gay-rights lobbyists cannot muster a majority in a plain popular vote. But they can concentrate their considerable lobbying energies on individual legislators, threatening to unseat those who would oppose them. They can exert one-way pressure on the judicial system, by bringing lawsuits against any adverse legislation and then strong-arming firms whose lawyers dare to represent the opposing view.

The Defense of Marriage Act is the law of the United States, duly enacted by the people through their elected representatives. But the White House has already announced that it will not defend the law against a court challenge. Now the law firm engaged by the House of Representatives to defend the law has bowed out of the fight. The aggressive gay-rights lobby is winning arguments not by persuading the public but by silencing its opponents.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: tony2311 - May. 01, 2011 1:12 AM ET USA

    Watching the Royal Wedding on CNN with a reported viewing audience of 2 billion, it was uplifting to hear the address from the Archbishop of Canterbury extolling the primary characteristics of marriage, number one being for procreation. His whole message about the nature and value of (traditional) marriage made the topic of "same sex" marriage look rather ridiculous, as a spurious attempt at high-jacking an existing well-defined institution. Good value I thought; free advertising for the DOMA.

  • Posted by: tony2311 - May. 01, 2011 1:04 AM ET USA

    Good point Edmond. Here in NZ also I have been trying to advise our lobby groups of the danger of depending upon poll statistics, or insisting on a national referendum on issues. On some issues, e.g. pornography and homosexuality, we already have a majority supporting the works of the devil. Popular vote based on unformed consciences is no substitute for the Natural Law.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 27, 2011 4:07 PM ET USA

    Right you are, Mr. Harrigan. Once we get away from the Natural Law given by a Supreme Being as the basis of law, all we have left is majority/minority splits and differences of opinion. Oh my!

  • Posted by: edmondmharrigan8553 - Apr. 26, 2011 9:27 PM ET USA

    I've been thinking that we'll regret, soon, arguing that The People Have Spoken; when polls begin to show that prevailing attitudes have changed, and state referenda actually come out in favor of gay marriage, defenders of traditional marriage will be in a regrettable position. Am I wrong in saying that we're doing a crummy job, in general, of employing the personalist arguments of the Theology of the Body to help people see human persons as we truly are, and to see marriage in light of that?