ABA proposed ethics code changes include "sexual orientation" rule

ABA proposed ethics code changes include "sexual orientation" rule
An Associated Press story from late Friday notes that among several proposed changes to the American Bar Association canons of conduct for judges is one prohibiting membership in groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Here, according to the ABA's website, is the change (additions are underlined):

3.03 Affiliation with Discriminatory Organizations. A judge shall not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, and shall not use the facilities of such an organization to any significant extent.

Associated Press Gina Holland suggests some implications:

It is not known how many judges participate in groups such as the Boy Scouts that have policies against hiring gays or having homosexual leaders, or some veterans groups that restrict membership to heterosexuals. … The ABA is not expected to vote on any changes until next year. It would be the first overhaul of the rules in more than a decade, and any changes eventually could affect thousands of judges. …
The proposed change to membership in groups that discriminate against gays is energized in part by the Supreme Court's ruling a year ago that states cannot "demean" same-sex couples by punishing their sexual conduct. The leader of the ABA commission, Phoenix lawyer Mark Harrison, said that without getting into a political debate about the rights of gay couples to marry, the panel wants to "make sure that judges aren't viewed as bigots."

New York University ethicist Stephen Gillers is quoted in favor ...

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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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