The New York Times believes that the refusal of a law firm to take the House of Representatives case agains gay marriage represents the tipping point in the US about marriage equality:
It’s not every day that a leading law firm fires a client for holding a position so extreme that it may be said to be unworthy of a defense. And it is rarer yet — unheard of, really — when that client is the House of Representatives and the position in question is a federal law.
Yet that is just what King & Spalding, a venerable Atlanta firm, did last week. Under pressure from gay rights groups and apparently fearful of criticism from the law students it recruits and the corporate clients it serves, the firm said it would not defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act against a challenge that it violates the Constitution.
The episode has so far mostly been discussed as a matter of legal ethics, and the firm has had a rough ride. But there is something larger going on, too.
For many gay rights advocates, the decision amounts to a turning point in the debate — the moment at which opposition to same-sex marriage came to look like bigotry, similar to racial discrimination and the subordination of women.
To opponents of same-sex marriage, the firm’s decision is the latest evidence that elite opinion generally and the legal culture in particular is racing ahead of popular opinion and shutting down a worthwhile debate.
Read it all here.