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WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, today announced a campaign to educate clients and potential recruits about King & Spalding's decision to voluntarily take up the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.
DOMA denies over 1,000 rights and benefits to legally married same-sex couples, including 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. Additionally, same-sex couples do not receive any tax benefits from the ability to file jointly and aren't exempt as other spouses are from rules that require you to sell off assets, including your own home, in order to qualify for federal assistance programs in times of grave illness.
"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," said HRC president Joe Solmonese. "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."
HRC's campaign will consist of the following components:
"We don't hold out much hope that K&S will drop this engagement. At $520 per hour, the firm is profiting mightily from discrimination," said Solmonese. "The goal is to send a message to all law firms and corporations that decisions have consequences. If you decide to suborn discrimination, then be prepared to explain why to the millions of fair-minded Americans."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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