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National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

Target demographics: NCLR serves more than 5,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families in all fifty states each year, including LGBT seniors, immigrants, athletes, and youth. And our impact litigation serves all LGBT people in the United States.

Programs: Family Law: securing legal recognition of same-sex couples (marriage rights, civil unions, domestic partner benefits, partnership protection documents), and LGBT parents (child custody, second-parent adoption, guardianship, pre-birth decrees, visitation, alternative insemination, child support); Youth: providing legal representation, advocacy, information and support on behalf of LGBT youth who suffer discrimination or abuse in the mental health, child welfare, criminal justice and education systems; Immigration Project: providing legal representation, support, assistance and community education to LGBT immigrants, and advocating for equitable immigration and asylum laws and policies; Elder Law Project: providing public education and workshops on issues of special concern to LGBT elders, including Social Security, domestic partner benefits, estate planning, and health issues; Sports Project: providing legal resources to LGBT athletes, coaches, and sports personnel. Transgender Law: providing legal representation, support, assistance and community education to the transgender community and individuals, and advocating and educating on their behalf in our mental health, criminal justice and education systems; Elder Law Project: providing public education and workshops on issues of special concern to LGBT elders, including Social Security, domestic partner benefits, estate planning, and health issues.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 1

I was very disappointed when I learned that the National Center for Lesbian Rights endorsed an anti-lesbian petition against the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. NCLR should stand with lesbians, not engage in tactics to batter lesbians who understand how we are oppressed because we are female.

DSPIVAK

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NCLR is a vital organization for LGBT rights. If you don’t already know about them, and the great work they do for our community you need to! NCLR's influence and impact on so much of the positive advancement our collective community has had is thanks to the work of NCLR!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had experience with NCLR in multiple ways: 1) They successfully connected me with a Lesbian Attorney when I needed one in my area. 2) They were a sponsor for the QueerFamilies=HealthyFamilies Conference where I served on the steering committee and was a presenter. 3) I am currently working with them to address the anti-gay articles published by CAMFT in getting CAMFT, to apologize, make ammends, change their internal structure to better serve the needs of LGBT people. At all times they are professional and committed to serving the LGBT community and in their fight for our equal rights!

24

Client Served

Rating: 5

Was helped by the organization with my immigration, and later collaborated with the organization on other issues. Great staff, great dedication, and wonderful humanity.

29

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NCLR is, simply put, an amazing organization. They were founded more than 30 years ago, during a turbulent time in American and LGBT history, as well as somewhat of a vague time for lesbians in particular (most early cases had to do with adoption and general family law). Since then, they have grown into a prominent, national LGBT-wide legal organization, working on behalf of the entire queer community and its families for one simple thing: Equality. Whether it's in sports, work, the hospital or simply one's own family life, equality is the end goal and they really will be here until this is achieved. I'm very thankful for the work they have done and continue to do (if you want a Grisham-like set of legal stories, just head to their Web site!), and honestly we wouldn't be where we are now without NCLR. Whether they win Pride Choice or not, hopefully their hard work is duly noted.

33

Donor

Rating: 5

NCLR is a fantastic, results-oriented nonprofit that works for change at the institutional level, winning landmark court cases on behalf of LGBT people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

NCLR gave me hope when I had none and I can honestly say had it not been for the staff at NCLR, my family would not have survived and came through our custody ordeal in tact. They are more than a legal service; they are a support group, counseling organization, in essence, they become a part of your family! Not a week goes by that I don't remember what they did for us!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to explain why the NCLR is such a great organization. They have an unconditional commitment to such a critical cause, and they work non-stop to assist individuals and improve society. Their entire staff group is intelligent, articulate, and caring. From the lawyers who are at the top of their field, to the communications people who go out of their way to attend to every last detail, this organization is at the top in the not-for-profit category! I am a part of on ongoing project with the NCLR that has lasted for the the past year and a half, and I have nothing but good things to say. My experience has been only positive. Thanks NCLR!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

NCLR is undoubtedly, at the forefront of the LGBT rights movement in this country. Their legal team has successfully secured the right to marry for all couples in California, and they help thousands of LGBT people across the country every year through their helpline. This is an incredible organization with a proud history. Way to go NCLR!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you don’t already know who the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is and the amazing, crucial, and effective work they are doing for all of the LGBT community you need to check them out (nclrights.org): their hard work and smarts are a major reason why we have the right to marry in California and WILL defeat the homophobes in November! As a queer man of color, I truly believe that what they are fighting for and accomplishing on marriage, family, work, discrimination, HIV, seniors, youth, and trans issues are some of the most important battles and strategic victories for any queer person alive today, anyone who cares about a queer person, and anyone who cares about American social justice and civil rights in our lifetime.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I live in Minnesota--far from the sweet air of equality blowing across California these days. Although based in San Francisco, NCLR regularly helps our state's leading GLBT organization (OutFront MN)with legal issues we encounter. They are always there for us. It is like being backed by up by the strongest, most powerful big sister you could imagine.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

NCLR came to the rescue 8 years ago. My partner and I were kicked out of the San Mateo Community Center Ballroom Dance class for being gay. I never imagined being discriminated in one of the most openly gay place in the world. I realized then you are never safe from discrimination. A friend told me to call NCLR. They provided me with several options. We decided to write the Mayor of San Mateo and the Director of the Community Center of this horrific experience and requested sensitivity training to their staff going forward. To my delight, the Mayor, Director and facilitators sent us letters of apology and informed us they are conducting sensitivity training going forward. From that day on, I have been supporting NCLR with time and money. This year NCLR saved the day again as lead council to help legalize Gay Mariage in California. My partner and I are celebrating 25 years together and now we have the opportunity to say it out loud and proud! NCLR is a blessing to us all.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

NCLR is lead and staffed by the most courageous and competent group of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. NCLR has an incredibly broad and inclusive focus in its advocacy and has continually demonstrated the ability to see the long term benefits of cases, that do not on their face appear to benefit the LGBT community. NCLR has become a leader in the national LGBT community and is one of the few LGBT organizations that is clear in its commitment to further the rights of ALL LGBT people.