Wally Kubitz ()
Becker & Poliakoff leaders say they have taken undisclosed “strict and severe” action against an attorney who sent an email to the entire firm blasting homosexuality and a recent federal court opinion in favor of same-sex marriage.
Walter Kubitz, a senior lawyer in Becker’s Manassas, Va., office, wrote Monday: “Today’s reckless trashing of morality has been damaging on many fronts. For one, there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases over the past few decades, with the gay plague of AIDS being a classic example.”
The email blasted a recent federal court decision finding the Florida ban on same-sex marriage violates the state Constitution, saying, “There is not a shred of historical evidence that either of those clauses was ever intended to legitimize homosexuality.”
Kubitz said the warning in Proverbs 11:21 should be heeded, quoting the Bible verse saying, “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished,” should be heeded.
He did not return calls for comment by deadline and was still listed on the firm’s website late Tuesday.
Ken Direktor, a member of the Fort Lauderdale-based firm’s management committee, said Tuesday that the firm took “immediate and severe” action against Kubitz but did not disclose what it was.
“The email infuriated me,” he said. “I’ve been here 28 years, and we promote and support a work environment that’s diverse and collegial. An email as divisive as this runs directly contrary to the core values of the firm.”
Michael Gongora, a former Miami Beach city commissioner, also blasted the email, saying: “As an openly gay attorney at Becker & Poliakoff for over nine years, I know that the email sent by this attorney does not reflect the core values of this firm. In fact, Becker & Poliakoff is committed to diversity as reflected by the firm’s hiring practices, outreach and diversity scholarships awarded annually.”
Kubitz was responding to a firmwide email sent Friday by a member of the firm’s management committee notifying them of the recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee striking down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Alan Becker, former managing partner of the firm, said it was not clear whether Kubitz accidentally hit “reply all” in what might have been a personal email to another attorney.
“I would like to think so,” he said. “There is lots of room in the world for differing religious views but not on law firm emails.”
Immediately after Kubitz’s email, firm management sent another firmwide email saying Kubitz’s comments “were inappropriate and would not be tolerated,” Gongora said. “I felt satisfied.”
Kubitz is a senior attorney in the intellectual property and emerging technologies practice group who has been practicing for close to 30 years, according to the firm’s website. He has handled a wide spectrum of IP matters, application filings, resolving issues raised during the application review process, post-registration filings, international registrations, licensing and dispute resolution.
Kubitz joined the firm when Becker & Poliakoff merged with the Litman Law Firm in 2012. He is a graduate of Greenville, S.C.-based Bob Jones University, a Christian liberal arts college.
Becker & Poliakoff has 170 attorneys in 19 offices.
The email was first reported by the legal blog Above The Law.
Subject: New Decision: Same Sex Marriage (Brenner v. Scott)
The issue having been raised, permit me the liberty to reply, lest my usual silence be taken as assent.
Judge Hinkle says that the Florida ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. However, there is not a shred of historical evidence that either of those clauses was ever intended to legitimize homosexuality.
Judge Hinkle and others like-minded have effectively amended the Constitution by judicial fiat. This is a blatant usurpation of power reserved to the States and to the people in violation of the 10th Amendment. The better handling of the issue is as exemplified by Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972), in which the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a Minnesota ban on same-sex marriage “for want of a substantial federal question.”
Adding insult to injury, Judge Hinkle invokes our founding fathers as though they would have approved of his ruling. Not so. In his 1796 farewell address then-president George Washington spoke of morality as being indispensable to our societal well-being.
Today’s reckless trashing of morality has been damaging on many fronts. For one, there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted disease over the past few decades, with the gay plague of AIDS being a classic example.
We would do well to heed the Proverbs 11:21 warning of our ultimate Judge: “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.” In other words, popularity does not trump peril.
Homosexuality, clearly condemned throughout Scripture, is especially perilous in that it tends toward the “reprobate mind” as spoken of in Romans 1:18-32 that makes its participants all the more hardened in their ways. The message to the homosexual, as to all, is “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found . . .” (Isaiah 55:6).