Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Rules Being Forced onto Lawyers

State bars are expanding nondiscrimination rules to include sexual orientation and gender identity, proposed by the American Bar Association. Lawyers are forbidding from engaging in “harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” The problem for lawyers? Slightly over half of the state bars are mandatory. In those states that adopt these changes, lawyers can be disciplined for violating the rule. Liberal groups welcomed the new restriction on lawyers’ freedom of conscience. The LGBT legal group Lambda Legal supported the rule change in Arizona. It declared that a prosecutor who refers to a transgender defendant using the “wrong” pronoun violates the rule. Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry disagrees. He issued an opinion that the language violates the First Amendment. It is vague and overly broad. He called the new rules viewpoint discrimination. Read more: