Prominent litigator Raoul Kennedy, a partner in the San Francisco office of Skadden, stuck his head in the lion’s mouth — and lived to talk about it. Legal Pad reports that Kennedy went to a Federalist Society meeting in San Francisco to defend gay marriage, where he didn’t pull any punches:
“How are any of us adversely impacted,” Kennedy asked, “when same-sex couples get married?”
The issue of gay marriage, he added, “is to the 21st century what slavery was to the 19th century.” Years from now, Kennedy insisted, the average person will look back and say, “How could people be so backward-oriented?”
He told the crowd there are so many problems in the world that gay marriage — in which two people only want to commit to a life together — shouldn’t be a problem. “You’ve got to have something better to do with your lives,” he said.
It’s easy to praise Kennedy for defending gay rights in front of a hostile audience, but how about the Federalist Society even existing in San Francisco? That’s like starting a Bill Maher fan club at Sunday school.
Kennedy presumably had the support of some of the Society’s more libertarian members. His debate opponent, Glen Lavy of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, was the flag bearer for the social conservatives:
Lavy also said that only those “who oppose democracy” would try to challenge Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot measure that would limit marriage to heterosexual couples, if it passes. He also argued that a defeat of Prop 8 would lead to legal attacks — on the tax-exempt status of churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages and on pastors who preach that same-sex relationships are immoral based on biblical teachings.
It would be interesting to hear what Kennedy’s fellow partners thought about their colleague pissing off the Federalist Society.
Californians: Care to predict the fate of Prop 8?
Attorney Defends Gay Marriage to Tough Crowd [LegalPad]