Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Overview
Lambda Legal is a national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people (LGBT) and all people living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.
Lambda Legal's attorneys, working from our offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles, champion about 75 carefully chosen civil rights lawsuits each year. These cases strategically benefit the greatest number of people, transform the cultural landscape, and lead to broader rights and freedoms for all Americans in the LGBT and HIV communities. On a parallel track, we inform the LGBT and HIV communities about their civil rights, and we ensure the American public witnesses the unfair legal burdens they encounter on the job, in their doctors? offices, when registering children for school, or when seeking vital services in both the public and private sectors.
After 33 years on the frontlines of injustice, Lambda Legal?s groundbreaking victories in the U.S. Supreme Court and in state and federal courts nationwide literally have transformed the civil liberties enjoyed by millions of LGBT individuals, couples, families, workers, parents, and military personnel, as well as all people living with HIV?across every border of age, race, culture, gender identity and ethnicity.
For example, Lambda Legal?s landmark victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas stands as a powerful testament to our mission. In 2003, Lambda Legal convinced America?s highest court to recognize a profound truth: To compel gay people to lie about their lives and deny their own human experience is a deprivation of liberty. It is an awkward and unfair attempt to isolate some people on account of whom they love. Now, the right to form an intimate relationship with the person of your choice is enshrined as a constitutional principle. Since 2003, judges nationwide have cited the Lawrence decision as the deciding precedent in more than 250 court rulings that have benefited the LGBT and HIV communities, revealing how one change in federal law can transform the American legal landscape from coast to coast.
Lambda Legal?s strong and collaborative alliances with national, state and local organizations support and enhance our unique blend of litigation and education. Our partners include the Child Welfare League of America, the National Black Justice Coalition, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Northwest Women?s Law Center, Immigration Equality, the ACLU, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, to name only a few.
Over 35,000 diverse members nationwide underwrite more than 60% of Lambda Legal?s courtroom work. Plus, hundreds of private practice attorneys and dozens of major law firms donate over $2 million worth of pro bono legal services to Lambda Legal each year. As a result, Lambda Legal stands as one of the most effective, stable, cost-efficient, and collaborative LGBT organizations on the national stage.
NOTE: ?Lambda? is the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet. In scientific notation, the lambda symbol (λ) represents highly compressed energy with extraordinary ?kinetic potential.? For this reason, the lambda was chosen by the Gay Activist Alliance of New York in 1970 to represent the lesbian and gay civil rights movement.