Crime & Law,
Public Interest Law
Mission: The lambda legal defense and education fund, inc. Is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and anyone with hiv through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Programs: Legal programduring 2017, lambda legal was active in litigation, legislation, policy, and advocacy efforts at the federal and state level, furthering the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and everyone living with hiv. This work builds of decades of legal action and advocacy that has secured major rights advances for lgbt people in the u. S. We responded to 6,502 calls to our legal help desk. We made major advances in securing employment discrimination protection for lgbt people. We won a historic ruling from the full seventh circuit court of appeals, holding that title vii the civil rights act does cover lesbian, gay, and bisexual people through its prohibition against sex discrimination. We appealed a second title vii case to the supreme court, which declined to hear it; and argued a third before the full second circuit court of appeals. Meanwhile, we also took steps to protect the employment rights of transgender people and people living with hiv. We sued the trump administration over its transgender military ban, and won a nationwide preliminary injunction, ensuring that transgender americans would be able to continue to serve and begin to enlist as the litigation continues. We filed suit on behalf of an hiv-positive deputy sheriff whose employment offer was withdrawn when his hiv status became known. The military ban case is one of many actions we took in 2017 to protect the rights of transgender people. Other actions included the settlement of our case against north carolina for its anti-trans law barring transgender people from using public bathrooms; the settlement of a pennsylvania case on behalf of high school students denied access to appropriate bathrooms; the filing of a similar challenge on behalf of a florida student seeking the right to use the bathroom; and the filing of lawsuits in puerto rico and idaho challenging those states' refusal to let transgender people correct their birth certificates. In addition, we sued the missouri department of corrections on behalf of an incarcerated transgender woman who was being denied medically necessary treatment. In addition to litigation work on transgender rights issues, we partnered with transgender legal defense & education fund to collaborate on their name change project. The projects provides free legal name-change services to low-income transgender people; tldef runs the project in new york and lambda legal joined the project to help develop the initiative in atlanta. We won a significant fair housing act ruling in colorado on behalf of a transgender, lesbian family denied housing, and we continued litigating a case in which we are seeking to hold accountable a senior living facility for the harassment and violence a lesbian resident endured at the hands of other residents. Amidst efforts by opponents of lgbt rights to undermine the full promise of marriage equality won in the 2015 obergefell decision, we continued to defend those rights in several lawsuits. These included a case in florida where we affirmed the right to be properly recognized on death certificates; a case in texas where we are fighting to protect the equal provision of employee benefit coverage; a case in hawaii where we are establishing that the full rights and responsibilities of marriage also includes child support obligations; and a case in mississippi where we insisted that a non-biological parent has the same rights in same-sex marriages as in opposite-sex marriages
education & public affairs programlambda legal provides information and resources to a wide audience across many channels throughout the year. In 2017, we published two major reports: safe haven: closing the gap between recommend practice and reality for transgender and gender-expansive youth in out-of-home care, the first comprehensive analysis of state laws and policies to protect transgender and gender non-conforming youth in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless youth systems; and justice out of balance, which focused on how the election of judges and the stark lack of diversity on state courts threaten lgbt rights. We maintain a robust online presence that provides comprehensive resources, timely news, analysis, and commentary across multiple platforms. These include our website, which in 2017 had 1,172,495 visitors; and facebook, twitter, instagram, and youtube social media channels, where hundreds of pieces of content reach over a million or more people every week. Our media team produces hundreds of press releases a year, regularly speaks with a broad range of reporters to keep them informed on lgbt rights issues, and generates tens or thousands of news stories annually. Lambda legal attorneys and other staff speak at dozens of conferences every year, providing insight and information on the latest lgbt rights developments.