Gay rights group Human Rights Campaign
(HRC) will launch a campaign against law firm King & Spalding's
defense of gay marriage ban DOMA on Tuesday in Atlanta.
The campaign will be announced at a
press conference at 11AM near the law firm's Atlanta headquarters.
King & Spalding is the private law
firm hired by House Speaker John Boehner to defend the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) after the Obama administration decided it would
no longer defend the statute in court. President Obama has said he
believes the law that bans federal recognition of the marriages of
gay and lesbian couples is unconstitutional.
Currently, 5 states and the District of
Columbia have legalized the institution, and two states – New York
and Maryland – recognize those marriages as legal. Gay marriage is
legal in ten countries, including nearby Canada.
“The bottom line is that K&S was
under no obligation to take this case. They consciously chose to
defend a law that discriminates against LGBT Americans, including
K&S's LGBT employees and clients. Discrimination, no matter how
profitable, is never good business. What's especially appalling and
ironic is that K&S ignored its own highly touted commitment to
diversity by taking on this unprincipled engagement,” said HRC
president Joe Solmonese, referring
to King & Spalding's gay-inclusive workplace policies.
The case could add up to $500,000 to
the firm's corporate coffers.
HRC's campaign is expected to include
ads in mainstream and legal publication that feature the stories of
families affected by DOMA, informational letters to the firm's
clients, and reconsideration of the firm's Corporate Equality Index
score – an HRC ranking of a corporation's support for gay rights.
HRC will be joined by representatives
of Georgia Equality, the state's largest gay rights advocate, at
The group's executive director, Jeff
gay weekly The Georgia Voice that he was disappointed with
the firm's decision.
“This decision on such a high-profile
case … is very disappointing,” Graham said. “This directly affects the future of LGBT families.”