Massachusetts chief justice accused of ethics violation, bias in same-sex marriage ruling


The chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, who is one of the four judges who voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage and authored the same-sex marriage decision, is under fire for an alleged ethics violation.

Brian Camenker, president of the Parents Rights Coalition, accused Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of violating the state's Code of Judicial Conduct when she gave the keynote address to the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association in 1999 and helped the group raise money in the process. Marshall was an associate justice at the time.

In her speech, she reportedly praised the new legal protections for homosexuals in her native South Africa and the "growing body of gay-friendly international jurisprudence."

Critics argue that Marshall’s involvement at the MLGBA event indicates that she could not be entirely objective regarding issues on the homosexual political agenda.

"Being at a fund-raiser is something you're not supposed to do," Camenker said. "But being at that fund-raiser and supporting the extension of homosexual rights and then ruling in a case that does that is a clear violation."

The criticism comes less than three weeks before Massachusetts begins issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Judicial Court and the homosexual bar association both deny that the $60-per-plate dinner was a fund-raiser. Marshall has reportedly refused to address the criticisms.

Last week, state Rep. Emile J. Goguen introduced legislation seeking the removal of the four judges who voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

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