GLAD - GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

week 25:  this week i'm gonna... support judicial equality for all

As you may remember, last year held a landmark case for the United States Supreme Court. Obergefell v. Hodges was decided on June 26, 2015 and declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. It was a historic moment for the country, and attorney Mary Bonauto was at the forefront.



In the early 1980s, Bonauto was a college student in upstate New York, struggling to come out as gay. Feeling rejected by society and unsure where to turn, she felt her life might be over.

“The law was one way of making sure my life wouldn’t be over,” she  states. “I could either just suffer from the system or change the system. I decided to opt for the change-the-system side.”

Over the last 25 years, the diminutive, soft-spoken lawyer with a self-described “underdog mentality” has changed the system, more quickly and dramatically than she could have imagined.

As the lawyer for seven gay and lesbian couples in 2003, she persuaded Massachusetts’ highest court to make the state the first in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. She started the momentum, and last year she delivered oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Obergefell v. Hodges and helped finish what she started - marriage equality for everyone in all 50 states.

GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders) is a community of dedicated individuals – board, donors, staff, volunteers, and allies – with a shared vision of equality and justice. They work nationally through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Since 1978, GLAD’s advocacy has achieved scores of precedent-setting legal victories to help end discrimination across New England and throughout the United States. Examples include: winning the right of same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts and Connecticut; winning the right of second-parent adoption in Massachusetts and Maine; and winning the right of coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act for all citizens with HIV.

GLAD believes that every person deserves full equality under the law – without exception.  See more in the video below:

Mary Bonauto has served as the Civil Rights Project Director at GLAD since 1990. Although the historic Obergefell v. Hodges made great strides toward equality for all, GLAD and Bonauto continue the ongoing fight against discrimination.  Their initiatives include: 

  • The GLAD Civil Rights Project - focuses on ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and on protecting LGBTQ families
  • The AIDS Law Project - fights discrimination based on HIV status, and for the privacy, health, and other rights of those living with HIV/AIDS
  • The Transgender Rights Project - focuses on ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression
  • The Youth Initiative - works to advance equal treatment for, and the safety of, LGBTQ youth through litigation, education, outreach, advocacy, and intervention

You can read more about their current work in the most recent GLAD newsletter.

Photo credit: Sam Hodgson for the NY Times.

Photo credit: Sam Hodgson for the NY Times.

Notes for this week:

  • June is LGBTQ Pride Month!  givetwig is proud to stand against discrimination, and our thoughts are with those affected by the horrible tragedy in Orlando.
  • Our collective givetwig donation will provide a ‘Know Your Rights’ Workshop for 50 youth, empowering them to advocate for themselves and their friends.
  • For further information regarding GLAD, please check out their website.

this week i'm gonna donate to GLAD.

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