The law firm hired to defend a federal law defining marriage as only being between heterosexual couples stepped away from the job today, in a move seen as a victory for gay rights supporters.
The King and Spalding law firm had been hired to defend the “Defense of Marriage Act,” Congress’ attempt to block gay marriage by defining marriage as unions between men and women.
Now, the firm was withdrawn amid criticism that taking on the case would reflect badly on the firm and make it difficult to hire top legal talent in the future, according to the New York Times.
The outside counsel was necessary for House Speaker John Boehner after several judges ruled the law unconstitutional, and the federal justice department under U.S. Attorney Eric Holder said it wouldn’t defend the law any longer.
Note: An earlier version of this post said the firm cited criticism as a reason for leaving. Officially, the firm said the decision to take on the case hadn’t gone through the proper channels. Apologies for any confusion.