Originally Published By: Debra Cassens Weiss and ABA Journal
Date: August 27, 2014
The law firm Becker & Poliakoff has taken “immediate and severe” action against a lawyer who condemned gay marriage in an email sent to the entire firm, according to one of the firm’s leaders.
The lawyer, Walter Kubitz, is listed as a senior attorney in the intellectual property group on the Becker & Poliakoff website. He voiced his opinions on Monday in a “reply all” email to a firmwide announcement about a decision striking down Florida’s ban on gay marriage, the Daily Business Review reports. Above the Law broke the story and published Kubitz’s entire email.
Kubitz’s email says the ruling was based on an improper reading of the Constitution. He then goes on to say that homosexuality is condemned by scripture. “Today’s reckless trashing of morality has been damaging on many fronts,” he wrote. “For one, there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted disease over the past few decades, with the gay plague of AIDS being a classic example.”
Ken Direktor, a member of Becker & Poliakoff management committee, told the Daily Business Review that the firm took “immediate and severe” action against Kubitz. He did not elaborate on the sanction. Managing shareholder Gary Rosen told Above the Law that the email is an internal matter for the firm “and it has been dealt with as such. We have no further comment.”
The email began this way: “The issue having been raised, permit me the liberty to reply, lest my usual silence be taken as assent.” The decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said the gay-marriage ban violated due process and equal protection clauses, but “there is not a shred of historical evidence that either of those clauses was ever intended to legitimize homosexuality,” Kubitz said.
“Judge Hinkle and others like-minded have effectively amended the Constitution by judicial fiat. This is a blatant usurpation of power reserved to the states and to the people in violation of the 10th Amendment. … Adding insult to injury, Judge Hinkle invokes our founding fathers as though they would have approved of his ruling. Not so. In his 1796 farewell address then-president George Washington spoke of morality as being indispensable to our societal well-being.
“Today’s reckless trashing of morality has been damaging on many fronts. For one, there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted disease over the past few decades, with the gay plague of AIDS being a classic example.
“We would do well to heed the Proverbs 11:21 warning of our ultimate Judge: ‘Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.’ In other words, popularity does not trump peril.
“Homosexuality, clearly condemned throughout Scripture, is especially perilous in that it tends toward the ‘reprobate mind’ as spoken of in Romans 1:18-32 that makes its participants all the more hardened in their ways. The message to the homosexual, as to all, is ‘Seek ye the LORD while he may be found … ’(Isaiah 55:6).”
Former managing partner Alan Becker told the Daily Business Review it’s not clear whether Kubitz intended to hit reply all, or whether he meant to write to just one lawyer. “I would like to think so,” Becker told the publication. “There is lots of room in the world for differing religious views but not on law firm emails.”