Page 33 - RWU Law / Issue#4 Fall 2012

The Magazine of Roger Williams University School of Law
31
The Fight
over Same-Sex
Marriage
A few months ago,
when asked to join a team of
lawyers working on a landmark case
challenging Nevada’s ban on same-
sex marriage, Marek Bute ’05, an
associate with Snell & Wilmer in
Las Vegas, jumped at the chance.
Not only would
Sevcik v.
Sandoval
place Bute at the center
of one of today’s most pressing and
contentious social and legal issues,
but it spoke to his long-standing
commitment to public service,
which his firm supports by giving
associates the same credit for pro
bono work as billable hours.
And Bute, who concentrates his
practice on commercial litigation,
creditors’ rights and entertainment
law, also has personal reasons driving
his interest in the historic case.
Openly gay since he was a student
at RWU Law, Bute and his partner
of four years became engaged in
May. If the plaintiffs in
Sevcik
are
successful, it may not be long before
Bute and his fiancé are able to legally
marry in their home state.
This case was a perfect fit for
me,” explains Bute, who came to
the U.S. from Poland as a toddler
when his father, a professional
soccer player, settled in Memphis,
Tenn. “It fits my desire for a pro
bono aspect to my practice, and it’s
exciting because con law and equal
protection are important things you
study in law school but don’t often
get to actually practice.”
Moreover, he adds, “The idea
of being part of something so
personally meaningful to me, and
such a landmark case in Nevada
and in the grand scheme of civil
rights in the U.S. – I’m honored
and thrilled to be a part of that
in any way.”
By Elaine McArdle
From the courtroom challenge in Nevada to popular votes
in four states, members of the RWU Law community are
immersed in legal actions related to LGBTQ rights