After Defending Anti-Gay Law In The Supreme Court, Paul Clement Is Representing A Persecuted Lesbian For Free

Paul ClementAttorney Paul Clement, acting on behalf of the state of Arizona, speaks to the press alongside Arizona Governor Jan Brewer outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, April 25, 2012, following arguments in the Arizona vs United States immigration enforcement law case.

A few months ago, famed conservative lawyer Paul Clement asked the Supreme Court to uphold America’s biggest anti-gay law, the defence of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Now Clement is trying to stop a Jamaican-born lesbian from being deported to her homophobic home country. He’s one of four lawyers who filed a brief asking the Ninth Circuit appeals court to halt deportation proceedings for Claudette Colleen Hubbard, who fled to the U.S. as a teen after being beaten for being a lesbian.

Jamaica would be a dangerous place for Hubbard, her lawyers argue. Mob attacks, shootings, and “corrective rape” for lesbians are all common in her home country, according to the brief first reported on by The Wall Street Journal. Hubbard returned to Jamaica once to visit her dying mother and was chased by a mob wielding rocks and shouting anti-gay epithets.

Hubbard became a legal U.S. resident in 1973, but immigration officials tried to have her deported in 2011 after a drug trafficking conviction. She sought protection under the Convention Against Torture, which the Board of Immigration Appeals rejected.

Clement is representing her pro bono, in a move that might seem surprising giving his defence of DOMA, which deprived married gay couples of federal benefits.

When asked about her reaction to the Hubbard case, Roberta Kaplan, Clement’s opposing counsel in the DOMA case told WSJ, “Wow!”

While Clement, 47, is historically a champion of conservative causes, nobody really knows what his views on gay rights are. He’s friends with liberals and has gay employees at his small firm, the Wall Street Journal has previously reported.

Clement wouldn’t tell the Journal what his personal views on gay rights were or whether he would have argued against DOMA, only saying that big Supreme Court cases were his specialty.

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