Mission: Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, glbtq legal advocates & defenders works in new england and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, hiv status, and sexual orientation.
Programs: Glad's civil rights project (crp) fights to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people across the lifespan, protect and support the many ways that lgbtq families are formed, and ensure the proper balance between religious liberty and anti-discrimination protections. The crp has helped win marriage in every state in new england, and in 2015, mary bonauto, director of the crp, successfully argued for the freedom to marry at the u. S. Supreme court. The crp's youth initiative works to ensure that lgbtq youth are safe, welcomed, and treated equally and with respect in every facet of life. In the past year, the crp:-won a decision from the vermont supreme court that an lgbt parent should be recognized as a parent regardless of genetic connection with the child, even where the parent is not married to the genetic parent and has not adopted. -continued to defend on appeal a victory in massachusetts on behalf of a lesbian couple of color faced with attempts by a known donor who is seeking parental rights, despite having no relationship with the child since birth and no mutual agreement with the parents as to having any role in the child's life. -supported litigation around the country, including with an amicus brief in the federal first circuit court of appeals resulting in positive case law, to establish that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes per se sex discrimination under federal law. -continued to work in coalition with our litigation and legislative partners around cases where religion and non-discrimination intersect (e. G. The masterpiece cakeshop case at the u. S. Supreme court) and proposed legislation (e. G. The federal equality act and state-based non-discrimination bills). -secured the ability of same-sex parents in massachusetts to obtain a gender neutral voluntary acknowledgement of parentage, which would set a standard for the rest of the country in recognizing the legal status of lgbtq parents without having to undertake an adoption. -represented an elderly massachusetts african-american woman whose spouse was taken from her when the spouse's nephew succeeded in wrongfully obtaining guardianship of his aunt and took her to mississippi. In the past year, the crp's youth initiative:-represented four youth in a juvenile detention facility in maine who are experiencing severe harassment and discrimination based upon their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and also worked in a coalition to address the deplorable conditions for all youth detained in the facility. -represented a transgender youth at the office of civil rights of the federal department of education, who was harassed, assaulted and discriminated against at her rhode island elementary school based upon her gender identity. -empowered and educated lgbtq youth through our "got rights? " workshop series, which informs lgbtq and hiv positive youth, particularly transgender youth, youth of color, and homeless youth, of their legal rights in massachusetts. -worked throughout new england toward the passage of laws banning conversion therapy, including successful passage of such laws in connecticut and rhode island. -helped fashion a model policy for transgender student participation in school sports for a massachusetts school district.
glad's transgender rights project (trp) focuses on fighting discrimination based on gender identity and expression, including: (1) overturning the federal administration policy banning transgender people from serving in the military, (2) ending the denial of critical health care to transgender people in private, public and state insurance policies, as well as for adults and youth in state custody, (3) ensuring transgender people can obtain identity documents consistent with their gender; (4) passing transgender-inclusive, state-wide, and comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation in all six new england states and similar federal protections; (5) robustly enforcing existing anti-discrimination protections for transgender people in employment, housing and public spaces; and (6) supporting the efforts of families and parents of transgender children to act in their children's best interests. In the past year, the trp has: -brought two federal lawsuits challenging the federal administration's ban on transgender service members, resulting in a preliminary injunction halting that ban while the litigation proceeds. -filed litigation on behalf of a transgender female prisoner under the americans with disabilities act (ada) for mistreatment and harassment based upon her gender identity, including forcing her to be housed in the male prison facility. -piloted a prison legal partnership that pairs lgbtq inmates with pro bono attorneys to expand legal resources to address the broad challenges that lgbtq people face in prison. -continued our transgender i. D. Clinic with a law firm to provide legal representation to transgender people in new england to help change their names and identity documents. In the past fiscal year, roughly 170 lawyers and support personnel provided over 6,200 hours of legal services to hundreds of individuals. -built public support for and advanced passage of transgender non-discrimination legislation in new hampshire, leading to final passage of that bill in the legislature in may 2018. -defended against attacks on transgender people's right to equal access to public spaces, including working to protect the 2016 massachusetts transgender public accommodations non-discrimination law, which is on the ballot in 2018 for a possible repeal. -built support and developed legal strategies to end exclusions of transgender health care in public, private, and state employee insurance coverage in new hampshire and maine, including successfully ending the categorical exclusion of transition-related health care in new hampshire's medicaid program. -supported litigation in new hampshire on behalf of a mother seeking to obtain coverage of transition-related care for her transgender daughter, under her municipal employee health insurance policy.
glad's aids law project (alp) focuses on ending discrimination based on hiv/aids status, particularly in areas of privacy and confidentiality, discrimination and criminalization, and insurance coverage. In the past year, the alp:-won an appeal at the highest court in massachusetts against the town of barnstable's attempt to shut down a local needle distribution program. -ensured robust implementation in massachusetts of the first law in the nation requiring insurance coverage for the treatment of a debilitating and disfiguring condition called lipodystrophy, which results from the long-term use of the first generation of hiv medications. -advanced first-of-its-kind litigation in the country alleging discrimination against an hiv-negative gay man denied long-term care insurance for taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication (prep) to prevent hiv infection. -continued to monitor ongoing state legislative efforts in new england that seek to roll back hard-won gains protecting the confidentiality of hiv information in medical records.
glad's public affairs and education department (pa&e) provides information and education to the general public, decision-makers, the news media, and individual consumers about the legal rights of lgbtq people, and people living with hiv and aids. Focused on enlarging circles of support for lgbtq rights, the department finds and tells the stories of lgbtq people; builds organized communities of allies to prepare the ground for, and sustain, courtroom victories; and works closely with state partner organizations, providing strategy and communication consultation and support. In the past year, the pa&e department achieved the following:- responded to over 2,338 queries to our glad answers legal information service, educating individuals about their legal rights, sending out know your rights publications, and referring callers to legal representation and other resources where needed. - executed ongoing education campaigns, through a variety of mainstream press and digital media, as well as events, publications, webinars, one-on-one phone conversations, and videos, that: advocated for an end to the practice of conversion therapy on lgbtq youth and for the adoption and protection of strong non-discrimination laws; advocated for key reforms - through policy and legislation - to the criminal justice system which disproportionately impacts lgbtq youth and adults and, in particular, people of color; raised awareness of discriminatory insurance exclusions for gay men on prep; elevated stories of transgender service members and those aiming to serve with dignity and honor; informed lgbtq youth about their rights; informed and empowered transgender people experiencing homelessness about their rights in shelters; provided information about accessing health care; raised awareness of the need for stronger legal protections for lgbtq families, regardless of how those families are formed; and more- held and participated in 75 workshops on legal issues, public forums, and speaking engagements. - over the course of the fiscal year, we had over 260,000 page views on our main website (www. Glad. Org). In addition, glad disseminates information via facebook and twitter (glad has over 45,000 facebook followers and over 40,300 twitter followers), and produced two longer form videos and countless graphics and video clips for use on social media channels.