Once again, the North Carolina State Bar has sent to the North Carolina Supreme Court a proposed amendment to the Preamble of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys that would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes. As NC Family warned when the State Bar considered this amendment in June, setting these values for the legal profession in North Carolina has significant implications for the practice of law in our state.
While we agree that all people should be treated with courtesy, honesty, dignity, and respect, the State Bar should not attempt to force attorneys to accept policies that promote controversial lifestyles and behavior choices, especially those that run counter to their sincerely held religious and moral beliefs about marriage, human sexuality, and personal privacy. Adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Preamble would create a protected status for behaviors that many understand from Biblical, moral, medical, scientific, and social research to be harmful to children and adults physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
All concerned attorneys need to make their voices heard!
The North Carolina Supreme Court has the final say on proposed amendments for the State Bar, and it did not approve a measure with similar language roughly a decade ago. Attorneys across the state wrote the Justices and expressed concerns that the adoption of these terms in State Bar policy would violate some attorneys’ rights to Free Speech, Free Exercise, and Free Association.
We are calling on all North Carolina attorneys to once again express these concerns with the Justices and protect these priceless freedoms!
The proposed amendment to the Preamble reads:
 The North Carolina Constitution requires that “right and justice shall be administered without favor, denial, or delay.” Public confidence in the justice system is strengthened when all participants are treated equally, fairly, honestly, and respectfully within the system. A lawyer, as a representative of and crucial contributor to the justice system, should foster public confidence in the administration of justice by treating all persons the lawyer encounters in a professional capacity equally, courteously, respectfully, and with dignity regardless of a person’s race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status.
Concerned attorneys are encouraged to either:
In the signature line of the letter, be sure to include your full name, your NC Bar number, and your full primary address as listed with the NC Bar.
You can write the justices separately or together:
Chief Justice Paul Newby
Senior Associate Justice Robin Hudson
Associate Justice Samuel Ervin IV
Associate Justice Michael Morgan
Associate Justice Anita Earls
Associate Justice Philip Berger Jr.
Associate Justice Tamara Barringer
Their mailing address is:
Supreme Court of North Carolina
P.O. Box 1841
Raleigh, NC 27602-1841
The letter needs to be carbon copied to:
Alice Neece Mine
The North Carolina State Bar
PO Box 25908
Raleigh, NC 27611
Everyone’s feedback helps! Because of the comments that were submitted earlier this year on another proposal dealing with “implicit bias and cultural differences,” the State Bar sent the proposal “back to subcommittee for further study.”
NC Family will continue to update you as this issue unfolds.