To provide some context, a colleague, who I will refer to as an ally of the LGBTQ community, forwarded the screen shot of the tweet. He was outraged. This tweet is from one of our own, a licensed attorney in Nevada.
While this tweet is misplaced and full of hate, it is protected by the First Amendment. Indeed, people are free to possess and share their opinions, no matter how offensive or hateful they may be, provided they not violate any laws. However, I am also free to take this opportunity – during PRIDE month – to issue a response.
One of my goals as the Chair of the LGBT Section of the State Bar is to be a resource for the community when these situations arise. I did not, however, expect to encounter this type of speech from a colleague.
The timing of this tweet not only falls during PRIDE, but follows the very month that Nevada Lawyer focused upon civility in practice. In June, that same publication featured Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the practice of law. This tweet by a Nevada Lawyer could not be further from civil or diverse. It is adversarial and bigoted, and makes a false and supremely offensive connection between Nazism and rainbows (a symbol for the LGBTQ Community). I am a proud gay Jewish lawyer, who must, on behalf of myself and others, recognize this tweet and its underlying values as an embarrassment to our profession.
I am left with questions for the lawyer and author of this embarrassment. Do you understand that you are born with your sexual orientation? It is not a choice. Are you a member of religion or race that was targeted through a mass genocide? Do you truly see a connection between the symbol of pride and community and the Nazi regime? This tweet is both homophobic and antisemitic.
I am not a member of the so-called cancel culture. To the contrary, I encourage the author of this tweet to publicly share his opinions. Invite us to engage with you in public discourse. Defend your opinions, at the risk of learning they are indefensible. I suspect you do not have the courage to do so.
To the author of this hate, you have let our profession down. You have not proven yourself to be someone willing or capable of defending the inalienable rights protected by our Nevada and U.S. Constitutions.
Kevin Kampschror, Esq. is a Partner at Shook & Stone in Las Vegas. His practice focuses on workers’ compensation injury law.