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Law student drops gay question lawsuit

Tony Grew September 11, 2007
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A man who failed Massachusetts’ bar exam has dropped a lawsuit in federal court claiming that he failed because he refused to answer a question related to gay marriage.

A question came up concerning the rights of two married lesbians, their children and their property.

Stephen Dunne claimed the question itself was “morally repugnant,” because it legitimises same-sex marriage and parenting, which he opposes.

He narrowly failed his exam, scoring a 268.866. The pass grade is 270.

Massachusetts legalised same-sex marriage in 2003.

The exam question read:

“Yesterday, Jane got drunk and hit (her spouse) Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa.

“As a result, Mary decided to end her marriage with Jane in order to live in her house with (children) Philip (and) Charles and Lisa. What are the rights of Mary and Jane?”

Mr Dunne had asked a federal court to back his argument that the test violated his rights and targets his religious beliefs.

He has now withdrawn his lawsuit, reportedly because the July bar exam did not include a question on same sex marriage.

Mr Dunne was seeking $9.75 million (£4.86m) in damages.

The decision not to include the same question: “merely reflects their standard practice of not repeating questions on successive bar examinations,” the examining board said in a statement to the court, reports the Boston Herald.

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