Lawrence E. Merrill, a Bangor attorney, recently wrote an op-ed arguing that gay folks don't deserve the basic right to not be discriminated against in employment, credit and housing.
Today, one of his professional colleagues responded. Arthur J. Greif, a fellow lawyer from Bangor, had this to say:
I was interested to read Larry Merrill's op-ed piece June 1 in which he touted his friendship with gays, yet warned of the risks of protecting gays from discrimination. He raised the specter of heterosexuals hiring gays just to avoid a lawsuit. Given Larry's stated profession as a lawyer, the opinion piece had a veneer of authority to it.
It was, of course, only a veneer.
Larry would be the first to tell you that if he had a potential client call him up asking to discuss whether he or she had been the victim of employment discrimination, he would immediately refer the client to me, as he has a handful of clients every year who need someone to potentially litigate a case not within his area of practice [...]
I have tried seven employment discrimination claims to a jury in the past four years and I am fairly certain that few, if any, plaintiff's lawyers in Maine have tried more.
There will never be the rash of litigation that Larry Merrill predicts if we protect the rights of homosexuals and heterosexuals to be judged by their ability to do the job, not their choice of mate.
Visit the new Maine Politics.