Thursday, January 10, 2008

Do-Over: Man who refused to answer SSM question apologizes for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice"

In a surprising turn of events, a man who who filed a $9.75 dollar federal lawsuit for failing the MA Bar Exam has issued a public apology for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice."

Stephen Dunne, an Irish immigrant, failed to answer a MA Bar Exam question regarding the rights of two married lesbians, their property, and their children issued a January 3 email to Bay Windows, a weekly Boston GLBT-oriented newspaper. In the letter he stated that his lawsuit "regrettably perpetuated intolerance and animosity towards my fellow Americans."

Dunne was denied his law license for scoring a 268.86 on his Bar Exam, which requires at least a 270. Dunne said his score was hurt because he refused to answer the question, which at the time he believed legitimized gay and lesbian marriages, which were contrary to his moral beliefs. He believed the question was used as a mechanism to screen applicants according to their political ideologies.

His lawsuit also called into question the constitutionality of the 2003 decision to recognize same sex marriages in MA.

Dunne states, "Christ said 'Love all, serve all,' " he said. "It was a message of inclusion rather than exclusion."

"After speaking with numerous members of the gay community, including my own friends, I began to empathize with their denial of basic human rights and how they feel discriminated against," Stephen Dunne said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Just a little bit to think about... I wonder how many other people will make similar journeys in the next few years.


Grace said...

yay to him. That's really nice. Like. Seriously. It's nice to know that normal dialogue between two human beings sometimes works.

Jane Know said...

Seriously, I found this statement to be key: "...I began to empathize with their denial of basic human rights and how they feel discriminated against."

It says a lot that he had enough empathy to change his mind, despite a public lawsuit and statements against the GLBT community. It gives me hope that perhaps others will, too.

Fannie said...

Interesting story. I wonder what caused him to finally change his mind...

Jane Know said...

Skeptics are saying it's a hoax, and he is just saying that so he will be admitted to the Bar this time. But he is standing firm in that his mind really has changed (from talking to gay people).


John Hosty-Grinnell said...

In time people will, by majority, come to see that discrimination of any form is wrong. We have a great momentum going, all we have to do is keep up with it now.

Great job finding this and sharing it Jane. I've reposted it on my site with a link to your post.

Jane Know said...

Thank you, as usual, John.

Musicguy said...

I think he's a bigot who realized just how unemployable he had made himself. I'm not inclined to believe his comments now. He was far too adament just a few short months ago to make such a profound 180 now. However, this is one of those rare moments where I'd actually like to be wrong.