barThe following is from a news release by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group of US lawyers defending freedom of conscience cases:

A group of concerned attorneys, required by law to be dues-paying members of the Washington State Bar Association, are objecting to the association’s public support for R-74, a measure that seeks to redefine marriage in the state. The lawyers, who do not support R-74, have sent a strongly worded letter to the bar citing the bar’s own rules and a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says mandatory bars can’t take sides on such matters.

“No one should take your money to promote views with which you strongly disagree. By forcing all Washington attorneys to pay for bar dues and then use that money to take any position on this measure is clearly wrong. The bar is violating its own rules and ignoring a U.S. Supreme Court decision that forbids this sort of partisan activity. The Washington Bar does not speak for all attorneys on such matters,” said Washington attorney Chris Evans, a signer of the letter and one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. Evans is with the Bellevue firm Venture Counsel Law International, PLLC.


The association’s own rules prohibit taking a position on ideological or social issues not direcrtly related to the legal profession or its practice.


“These attorneys are speaking up for all attorneys who object to this type of coercion.  The attempts to force Americans into paying for and promoting positions that they oppose are growing far too numerous,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Brad Abramson. “Whether it’s making attorneys pay to support bills they oppose, forcing religious organizations and businesses to pay for abortion pill coverage or forcing pharmacists to dispense such drugs, compelling photographers and T-shirt printers to use their artistic skills to promote messages with which they completely disagree, requiring ministries to use their private property for purposes antithetical to their beliefs, or any number of other situations, freedom of conscience is clearly under attack. It’s a pattern that should concern every American.”


Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet