The law firm hired by the Republican-controlled House to defend the Defense of Marriage Act is facing criticism from a leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual legal group, The Huffington Post reported Friday.
The House will pay King & Spalding $520 an hour — up to $500,000 — to defend the 1996 law that restricts the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. George W. Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement, a D.C.-based partner at the firm, will lead the defense.
Jon Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal, an LGBT advocacy group, told The Huffington Post that the firm’s acceptance of the case is “depressing.”
“I think it’s going to hurt them in their recruiting of future lawyers,” Davidson told the website. He added that he would oppose working with King & Spalding on cases as long as the firm was defending DOMA.
Since 2008, King & Spalding has received a 95 out of 100 rating on the Corporate Equality Index put out by the Human Rights Campaign, another LGBT rights organization. The law firm also has a “LGBT Lawyers” website that touts its commitment to recruiting LGBT law students and supporting LGBT organizations.
A spokesman for the law firm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Main Justice.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have exchanged pointed letters over the decision to hire King & Spalding to defend the act.