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.
This is already happening in CA. I have a friend who is a lawyer and a judge. I was speaking to his wife during the Prop. 8 campaign, and she said, "You won't believe this, but if Prop. 8 doesn't pass, Roger (named changed to protect the innocent) will have to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies!" When he got the job as a judge, he had to swear not to allow his own moral beliefs to intrude on his ability to judge the law. This includes all judges' duties, performing marriages being just one. I asked my friend what her husband would do, and she said that he would just have to swallow hard and perform the same-sex marriage. Or risk losing his job. There is no option of trading it off to another judge with more liberal views. Either he does something he doesn't believe in, or he gets fired.
This raises the question: what is more acceptable? Compromising the law on moral grounds, or compromising personal morals on legal grounds?
To me, it is totally ridiculous that this question even needs to be asked! This is the direction that our country is heading in - good men and women must make a choice between keeping their jobs, or standing for what they believe is right. Free country? Freedom of speech? Not in the law profession! The miscarriage of justice lies NOT in requiring judges to place rule of law above everything else...it is in requiring them to perform duties that they don't believe in without the option of referring that case to another lawyer. Which brings to mind the case of the infertility doctor whose personal beliefs made her opt out of helping a same sex couple get pregnant. She referred them to another doctor. Seems like a logical thing to do. But she was sued for it and lost. see this article. If the opposition gets their way, here's what you can expect: Leave your moral beliefs at the door when you walk into work every day! Required by law!
The Arizona State Bar will make their decision in January.
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