Protests Planned For DOMA-Defending Law Firm

Gay rights organizations plan to protest King & Spalding, the firm that will defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, this Tuesday.

Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef01538df4efc0970b In a statement released this weekend, the Human Rights Campaign said it will be joined by Georgia Equality and other groups at a Tuesday news conference one block from King & Spalding's headquarters in Midtown.

The Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, said it wants to call attention to the law firm's "hypocrisy."

King & Spalding's website says the firm is committed to having the brightest and most diverse lawyers it can find, including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It notes that the Human Rights Campaign gave the firm a 95 out of a 100 corporate equality index rating the past four years and that domestic partner benefits are offered for same-sex couples.

"Firms are rightly judged on the cases they voluntarily take on, and history will not be kind to [King & Spalding's] decision to defend institutionalized discrimination," the Human Rights Campaign statement said. "The effect of K&S’s efforts, if successful, would ensure that the federal government is able to continue denying recognition to same-sex couples which includes Social Security survivor benefits, health care for spouses of government employees or even the ability for spouses to be buried together in veteran’s cemeteries."

Lead attorney on the case, Paul Clement used to work as U.S. solicitor general for President George W. Bush and will reportedly be paid $520 an hour for his work.

The GA Voice has details on Tuesday's protest: HRC and Georgia Equality press conference: Tuesday, 11 a.m. Corner Park, located at 15 th and Peachtree Street, one-half block from the King & Spalding offices. King & Spalding is located at 1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309.


  1. I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff says

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

  2. deedrdo says

    i’ve checked the HRC and GE websites and cannot find a time for this news conference. i would like to notify my friends in ATL. any help would be appreciated.

  3. Rob says

    While I think it is legitimate for attorneys to defend murderers and rapists, I think it is also legitimate for us to fight tooth and nail when a blue chip firm like this is the “go-to” resource for discrimination.

    If K&S were to defend a Nazi, I would expect Jewish groups to go nuts (and hopefully gays, too.) If the White House had timidly defended this bizarre law, it would have been hard to focus our protest squarely on an otherwise good ally like Obama. Now Obama has pointed out to us a powerful enemy, and by making a politically costly decision like this, has shown us his loyalty to queer causes.

    Kudos Barack, and Game On, K&S.

  4. Joseph L. says

    Did I miss something? Why are they protesting in Atlanta when the King & Spalding website says that Paul Clement is a partner at their Washington D.C. office?

  5. DLB in ATL says

    @ Deedro: The presser will take place at the park called “Corner Park” at Peachtree and 15th. It is at the north end of the Colony Square complex, diagonally across/south from the Woodruff Arts Center. @ Joseph L: Clements is in DC, but K&S is based in Atlanta for 100 years or more.

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