| WASHINGTON — The law firm hired by Republicans in the House of Representatives to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act withdrew Monday amid pressure from gay rights groups. The decision prompted the resignation of a prominent partner, who said he intended to take the case with him to another law office.
Gay rights groups had fiercely criticized the law firm, the 126-year-old King & Spalding of Atlanta, saying that its agreement to defend the law, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages, would hurt its ability to recruit and retain lawyers. The firm’s chairman, Robert D. Hays Jr., said in a statement Monday morning that the firm would no longer defend the law.
“In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate,” he said. “Ultimately...