ABA Does Not Speak for All Lawyers on Gay Marriage, Says ADF

The American Bar Association, which is likely to soon endorse gay marriage, does not speak for all U.S. lawyers, declared a Christian legal group on Wednesday.

Three-quarters of American lawyers do not belong to the ABA and many attorneys work to protect traditional marriage, stressed the Alliance Defense Fund.

"The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA's claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession," remarked ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier, who resigned from the ABA because of its stance on controversial political issues.

The ABA is holding its national convention in San Francisco from Aug. 5 to 10. During this time, the association will decide whether or not to adopt a policy that urges state, territorial and tribal governments to eliminate legal restrictions on same-sex marriage.

In the past, ABA has advocated for abortion rights, civil trial for suspected terrorists, and repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The association's 1992 abortion policy prompted many of its member lawyers to leave and lead to the formation of the pro-life National Lawyers Association.

"The ABA was not originally designed to endorse political agendas," Napier explained in a statement. "But in recent years, it has joined hands with groups like the ACLU on a number of societal issues and wrongly asserts that it speaks for the legal profession."

"We urge the ABA to abandon its divisive political agenda and return to its original non-partisan mission…," the conservative lawyer stated.

Napier's comments were released on the same day that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled California's Prop. 8 – which defines marriage in California as the union between a man and a woman –unconstitutional. ADF represented the proponents of Prop. 8.

Despite Wednesday's victory for same-sex marriage supporters, the battle is expected to continue to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and then on to the U.S. Supreme Court, if it accepts the case.

As for the ABA, supporters of the pro-same-sex marriage policy say it would build upon the group's past support for the protection of gay couples. The policy is just one of more than 30 to be considered at this week's meeting.

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