The American Bar Association has passed a resolution prohibiting lawyers from making sexist remarks, following the lead of many U.S. states.
Now, it is deemed professional misconduct to “engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination,” including “sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical comment,” the resolution states.
It was passed this week at the ABA’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Some 69 people requested to speak in favor of the rule change, according to the American Bar Association Journal, and there were no speakers opposing the bill. During a voice vote, it “was not without opposition, but it passed clearly.”
Opponents of the bill had argued that it “harms free speech and religious freedom,” and was “driven by ‘PC politics’ rather than professional ability,” according to the Journal.
As The New York Times reports, “nearly two dozen state bars and the District of Columbia bar have similar rules.” However, “without a flat prohibition, advocates of the rule said, using demeaning and misogynistic terms and actions to undermine opposing counsel and others too often does not have consequences.”
Read more: NPR