As same-sex marriage proponents take their case for "marriage equality" to the U.S. Supreme Court this month, one area of inequality remains: the prestige of legal representation before the court.
The nation's top law firms have been hands-off in representing opponents of same-sex marriage, leaving the cases to smaller offices or to lawyers working without the backing of their firms, The New York Times reports.
That's in contrast to tradition, the Times notes. Top law firms have been happy to take on terror detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, including those with ties to al-Qaida.
The practice goes back longer than the establishment of the United States. Future President John Adams defended British soldiers accused of murder in the 1770 Boston Massacre.
More recently, the Times notes, Clarence Darrow represented union activists who killed 21 people in a dynamite attack on the Los Angeles Times building in 1910.