Monday, December 15, 2008

State Bar of AZ to censor First Amendment rights of attorneys on gay issues

Throwing our constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of association down the drain, the State Bar of Arizona is considering a revision to the attorneys' oath of office that would silence conservative 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.”

Several attorneys, including myself expressed their opposition in a letter to the bar. They point out that the language is so broad, it could be used to ban an attorney from publicly expressing a viewpoint on gay issues. It could also prohibit an organization of Christian attorneys like the Alliance Defense Fund or the Christian Legal Society, which holds Bible studies at law schools, from refusing to admit persons of alternative sexual preference to their organizations.

The State Bar of Arizona is a mandatory association for attorneys wishing to practice law in Arizona. As such, they have the power to revoke the license to practice law in Arizona of any attorney they believe has violated this provision. A clause like this has no place in an oath of office, which should consist of nothing more but generally swearing allegiance to the laws of the land. Adding a controversial restriction on our First Amendment rights in order to promote a politically correct left wing agenda is inappropriate and a gross abuse of power by the Bar. If they go ahead with this curtailing of our rights, there will be plenty of lawsuits, and rightly so.

Please call or email the president of the State Bar of Arizona and express your objection to this outrageous infringement upon our rights, or 602-340-7239.

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