James Quarmby, tax partner, Thomas Eggar

Ten ways to reveal your lover: coming out the easy way

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  • Jack, your comments are pathetic. You would not dare make such sweeping comments about black, jewish or other minority groups. If your experiences of gay "friends" is as you describe then clearly you should chose your friends better.
    I am gay and middle aged. My life expectancy will be limited more by my high cholesterol rate than my sex life!
    My partner is the MD of a household name and we have the support and love of our family and friends.
    Please examine your ignorance. I would suggest that your comments about pornography and substance abuse could just as easily be directed against the straight men in your office and generally amongst the male population.
    A lot of British people find individual Americans crass and obnoxious but would not damn a whole population by the actions of certain individuals. I suggest you try to do the same.

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  • I think Jack raises an interesting question, as does Anonymous above....

    Spaced out Associates..... and Partners.....

    So anyone for random drug testing.... regardless of sexuality or level within the firm?

    Alcohol, we all know that's a problem.... let's test everyone for Cannabis and Cocaine......

    As for the rest of Jack's views - I won't be buying him a drink anytime soon. Just take out his reference's to gay men, and substitute with Muslim, Sikh, Black, Female, Jewish.... I think you get the picture....

    Happy New Year all.

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  • Jack Vance

    Sorry but as a lawyer you should know full well that the comments you post on the internet can be used against you. What you have said is down right homophobic and as such you should be dealt with in the appropriate way.

    Putting it another way if I was looking to hire a lawyer the last person I would instruct would be someone with your views, and that goes for anyone else in your firm. Your views are wrong in every single way, and to be honest as a gay man I wouldn't want nor accpet you apology for your biggoted and close minded views.

    I am glad to work in a profession where everyone is well educated and can accept that not everyone is the same.

    Oh and to just ask what kind of gay bars do you frequent then if you seem to think that every gay man is out for one night stands whilst being off their face on drugs?

    Enjoy your biggoted life and perhaps one day you can grow as a person and also a lawyer as well as I always thought being a lawyer meant you shouldn't be so narrow minded!

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  • As the author of the article in question I have been following the postings with some interest. I think most readers have realised that the piece was supposed to be humourous (I didn't actually expect lesbian lawyers to drive to work in a Jeep, as exciting as that mental image is). However, behind the humour there is a serious message and that is that we gay lawyers need to be out and proud so that we are able to smoke out - and deal with - any latent homophobia within our profession.
    This has been beautifully illustrated by the comments made by Mr Vance. Hitherto, perhaps, his colleagues and clients (and the world) didn't know that he harboured such extraordinary igonorant views about gay people. Now that this information has been smoked out ,appropriate action can be taken (which would include, I suggest, keeping him away from any interview panels).
    What I found most depressing, however, was the comments from gay lawyers about discrimination in the work-place. I am horrified that a lawyer was (allegedly) sacked for being gay by White & Case. If this is truly what happened then I think that the firm in question needs to have a good, long hard look at itself.
    I also find it sad that a number of people have said that they still hold back from being honest about themselves, particularly around clients. Whilst I completely understand the reasons expressed for holding back, I am afraid that this type of self-censorship simply panders to the homophobia (perceived or actual) in others.
    Anyway, keep up the posts - its providing fascinating reading material....

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  • Jack Vance -
    Many of the straight people I have known are heavily into pornography (along the spectrum from triumphantly straight to pseudo-lesbian and bisexual), substance abuse and late night sexual encounters with anonymous strangers.
    On occasions this has translated into their taking unscheduled time off work and other commitments while they nurse their weary bodies and a sexually predatory attitude towards friends and strangers. This has resultant lapses in their efficiency, productivity and reliability.
    But like you I am open-minded enough to look past these indiscretions and "truly know" them as "friends".
    I forgive them for the fact that despite the backbone of church, state and law reinforcing the stability and ultimate preeminence of the heterosexual relationship so many of them choose to disrupt this paradigm through extra-marital affairs, casual sex and divorce.
    My heart is so big that I am prepared to work with and would even recommend as employable many of my heterosexual counterparts, despite the fact that many prominent rapists, murderers and child molesters also happen to be heterosexual.
    Indeed I believe so strongly in diversity that in a managerial position I would never dream of personally discriminating against my straight brethren, even though their proclivity towards reproductive activity means that may need to take time off for childcare obligations.
    But unlike you - who can confidently say he has no fear of the homosexual - I must admit that as a gay man I have on occasion feared heterosexual individuals. Especially when the intertwining of sexual addiction, violence and ignorance leads to gay men being killed for holding hands in public spaces.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/10/15/girls-who-killed-man-in-trafalgar-square-had-been-screaming-homophobic-abuse/

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  • Or maybe too much analysis. Why not keep it simple and be yourself in the workplace. If you are camp, butch, in the middle or whatever it shouldn't matter. You could even appear in your firm's calendar in speedos like me if you want to make a particularly lasting impression (good or bad lol).

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  • Jack Vance:

    As an employment lawyer (who also happens to have worked with James Quarmby for a number of years) I am disappointed by your post. I am sorry if your personal experiences have left you with less than positive views but it is a shame that you feel that they qualify you to comment so generally.

    I am not clear what you mean when you say that you would “exercise more scrutiny” in hiring a gay man but treating job applicants differently due to their sexual orientation is likely to land both you and your firm in hot water. The only relevant factors to consider before a new hire is made are whether the applicant has the necessary skills and experience to do the job. The sexual orientation of an applicant (or colleague for that matter) is irrelevant. I am sure that your firm’s internal policies (i.e. those covering equal opportunities, diversity and/or recruitment) will confirm this.

    As a final thought, when the Equality Bill (that is currently going through Parliament) becomes law later this year it will codify and extend existing discrimination legislation and so it might be worth taking a look at that too.

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  • Vance:

    You are a prize c*ck.

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  • I will take your comments under consideration. My opinion - like most people's - is formed by experience, and to date, my experience is as I hithertofore stated.
    I would discriminate against anyone who I knew was involved in addictive behaviour like drug abuse, alcoholism, pornography, or anonymous sexual encounters. To date, all of my homosexual male friends have had these problems.
    To say there is generally no problem with these issues in the gay community over and above what is witnessed in other communities - is to bury one's head in the sand in the name of political correctness.
    I am also stymied by how many allegedly enlightened law firm personnel assert that homosexuality is a non-issue but are more than willing to discriminate on other grounds such as age.
    Finally - Mr. Quarmby & Mr. Eggar - your article was well penned and interesting, but your reply to my post, particularly your assertions to smoking me out and keeping me from interview panels for engaging in free speech in a public forum on the internet, are regrettable. My views are not extraordinary - that is why you wrote the article in the first place. There is nothing to be "out and proud" about engaging in unhygienic sex acts (regardless of gender), substance abuse, or pornography. These things - in my subjective opinion - seem to be endemic to the homosexual community. Further, I would never post under my real name because I am well aware of the sovietesque thought and speech police who patrol internet chat forum posts and who would actually act on them in order to assuage their own lack of self esteem. Thank you.

    JV

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  • Vance - your comment is offensive to gay people. If you had made a similar tirade against admitting black lawyers into firms or against hiring Asian associates, that would be seen as an outrage and I would not be surprised if The Lawyer would remove such a comment. The same standards should be applied to homophobic and narrow-minded comments such as yours.

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