Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Boston man failed Mass. Bar Exam because he refused to answer question on 'gay marriage' - files federal lawsuit

POSTED: July 9, 2007

[See bar exam question in graphic below.]

We keep being told that 'gay marriage' won't affect us. We're now seeing that one of its effects is to legally push the normalization of homosexuality into everyone's lives -- in one way or another -- and punish those who don't go along with it.

A man is being forced to sue the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court over being answer questions on homosexual "marriage" legal situations in order to pass the bar exam and practice law in Masachusetts.

Bar-exam flunker sues: Wannabe rejects gay-wed question, law
By Donna Goodison, Boston Herald
Friday, July 6, 2007

A Boston man who failed the Massachusetts bar exam has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his refusal to answer a test question - related to gay marriage - caused him to flunk the test.

Stephen Dunne, 30, is suing the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, claiming the “inappropriate” test question violated his religious convictions and his First Amendment rights. Answering the question, Dunne claims, would imply he endorsed gay marriage and parenting.

The suit also challenges the constitutionality of the 2003 SJC ruling that made Massachusetts the nation’s first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dunne, who describes himself as a Christian and a Democrat, is seeking $9.75 million in damages and wants a jury to prohibit the Board of Bar Examiners from considering the question in his passage of the exam and to order it removed from all future exams.

“There’s a different forum for that contemporary issue to be discussed, and it’s inappropriate to be on a professional licensing examination,” Dunne told the Herald. “You don’t see questions about partial-birth abortion or abortion on there.”

Dunne scored a 268.866 on the bar exam, just missing a passing grade of 270. The exam question at issue concerns two married lesbian attorneys and their rights regarding a house and two children when one decides to end the marriage.

“Yesterday, Jane got drunk and hit (her spouse) Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa,” the bar exam question stated. “As a result, Mary decided to end her marriage with Jane in order to live in her house with Philip, Charles and Lisa. What are the rights of Mary and Jane?”

Dunne claims the question was used as a “screening device” to identify and penalize him for “refusing to subscribe to a liberal ideology based on ‘secular humanism,’ ”according to his lawsuit.

“Homosexual conduct is inconsistent with (Dunne’s) Christian practices, beliefs and values, which are protected by the First Amendment,” the lawsuit states.

“I respect people with alternative lifestyles, and we must do that in a civil society,” Dunne said. “I just have a different opinion that millions of people share with me, and I believe that my opinion should be respected just as much as (pro-gay) opinions. I have no intent in spreading hatred or discrimination.”

In his court documents, Dunne described homosexuality as a “voluntary human behavior that is changeable.”

“Societal recognition and perpetuation of rampant homosexuality is neither prudent nor wise,” his lawsuit states.

Dunne, who’s representing himself in the suit, said he’s not affiliated with any anti-gay groups.

He described himself as an Ireland native who gained U.S. citizenship through a six-year U.S. Army Infantry stint.

His lawsuit states he has a law degree from a “prestigious Boston law school,” which he declined to name, and is working on an MBA at an “esteemed Boston business school.”

The Board of Bar Examiners and SJC declined comment.

But Boston attorney Tom Dacey doesn’t believe the case will go very far. Gay marriage is now part of the state’s domestic relation laws, and that’s one subject on which the Board of Bar Examiners traditionally tests applicants, Dacey said.

“Lawyers have to answer questions about legal principles they disagree with all the time, and that doesn’t mean we’re endorsing them,” said Dacey, a director of Goulston & Storrs’ litigation group. “You might be somebody who is morally opposed to divorce, but have to interpret the divorce laws of the commonwealth to answer a question about who property is passed to.”

Graphic by Boston Herald