Paul Clement in DOMA Brief: “Dr. Diamond, like every other academic, does not have a monopoly over the legal import of her academic observations”

November 3rd, 2011

So Paul Clement cited to some academic’s study showing that for some lesbians, “‘exclusive same-sex attractions are the exception rather than the norm’ – as evidence that sexual orientation is changeable and therefore not entitled to the same legal status as race or sex.”

The expert whose study Clement cited disagreed.

Diamond said in her declaration Tuesday that she had actually reached a much different conclusion: that sexual orientation is a stable trait that people express differently over the course of their lives.

While gays and lesbians may often change their “identity label,” she said, they “share a fundamental and distinctive trait: the capacity for same-sex attraction.”

But Clement preempted that objection, and simply noted that experts–including the expert he cited–do not have a monopoly on proper conclusions. Doesn’t this underscore the entire practice of lawyers–and judges by extension–citing to “Experts” if they can just agree and disagree at a whim. Courts need to determine whether sexual orientation should be considered in the same group as race and religion for purposes of scrutiny. Does social science and research–which apparently conflicts–really hold the answer here?