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social sciences

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Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)  
page: 1  2  3  

However, as GLAD cooperating attorney Gretchen Van Ness has observed, "The Supreme Court's description of the case was devoid of all of the difficult, fact-sensitive questions about what this Parade was, and why GLIB was excluded; questions that had properly occupied the state courts." The decision, in effect, rested on a misinterpretation of the evidence, which clearly showed that the parade was not organized by private citizens, but by the city of Boston.

Another GLAD case before the U. S. Supreme Court, Bragdon v. Abbott, had a happier outcome. Bennett Klein, GLAD's AIDS Law Project director, represented a woman with asymptomatic HIV infection, who was refused care in a dentist's office. The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in 1998 established that people with HIV are protected against discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act even if they do not have full-blown AIDS.

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In addition to litigating on behalf of glbtq clients and filing amicus curiae briefs in appropriate cases, GLAD also takes seriously its mission to educate both the general public and the glbtq community.

Its Public Education Program is devoted to increasing public awareness of glbtq legal issues and disseminating information to enable individuals to exercise their rights. The organization sponsors public education forums and provides technical training for attorneys, governmental agencies, and professional groups.

GLAD also publishes a wide variety of material, including informational brochures, fact sheets, briefs and memoranda for attorneys, and both technical and general articles.

In addition, GLAD maintains an informative website, which includes a Legal Infoline on which individuals in New England may submit questions and request information. It also operates a toll-free hotline and a lawyer referral service.


Now a respected member of New England's legal community, GLAD has helped move glbtq citizens closer to equality. As Lee Swislow has remarked, "Our legal victories have changed the landscape of the law regarding sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression. But more importantly, they have made a difference in the day-to-day lives of countless individuals."

Despite GLAD's numerous successes, however, the group remains vigilant, acutely aware that many of the gains that have been made in recent years are precarious and under assault by well-financed enemies of equal rights.

Claude J. Summers

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social sciences >> Overview:  Boston

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social sciences >> Overview:  Civil Union

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social sciences >> Overview:  Custody Litigation

While the courts of some states have been almost unremittingly hostile to gay men and lesbians involved in custody litigation, others have declared that glbtq parents have the same rights and responsibilities as other parents.

social sciences >> Overview:  Gay Rights Movement, U. S.

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social sciences >> Overview:  Hate Crimes

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social sciences >> Overview:  Immigration Law

Those countries that allow the immigration of glbtq persons based on persecution in their home countries often raise difficulties or apply the existing laws inequitably, especially in the case of glbtq couples who apply for entry as domestic partners.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Seniors' Resources

As the aging population has grown, more organizations have emerged that are dedicated to providing much-needed services and information, along with socialization and activism opportunities, to glbtq senior citizens.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sodomy Laws and Sodomy Law Reform

Sodomy laws, which provided the legal basis for police harassment of sexual minorities, were conclusively overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 2003, after more than half a century of efforts at reform.

social sciences >> Overview:  Teachers

Historically, glbtq teachers have faced all manner of social pressures, including open hostiliy and expectations that they hide their sexuality; now, however, teacher groups and individuals are working to improve the climate for glbtq teachers.

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social sciences >> ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project

For more than four decades, the ACLU has been at the forefront of litigation and education designed to secure glbtq rights on a variety of fronts.

social sciences >> Bonauto, Mary

American attorney Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, has won major rulings that have brought the promise of equal rights nearer to reality.

social sciences >> Bowers v. Hardwick / Lawrence v. Texas

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social sciences >> Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

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social sciences >> Griffin, Chad

Chad Griffin co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights to sponsor a legal challenge to Proposition 8; in June 2012, he assumed the helm of the Human Rights Campaign.

social sciences >> Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

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social sciences >> National Center for Lesbian Rights

Founded in 1977 as the Lesbian Rights Project, the National Center for Lesbian Rights is a public interest law firm committed to advancing the civil and human rights of glbtq people through litigation, advocacy, and education.

social sciences >> Romer v. Evans

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social sciences >> Romero, Anthony

In 2001, Anthony D. Romero became the first Latino and first openly gay man to lead the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's leading public interest law firm.

social sciences >> Wolfson, Evan

Evan Wolfson has participated in some of the crucial legal battles in the struggle for glbtq rights, and has been particularly visible in the quest for marriage equality.


Fricke, Aaron. Reflections of a Rock Lobster. A Story about Growing up Gay. Boston: Alyson, 1981.

Gallagher, John. "Separate but Equal: Victory for Gay Marriage in Vermont." The Advocate (February 1, 2000):

Garrow, David J. "Toward a More Perfect Union." New York Times (May 9, 2004):,%20George%20W.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders website:

Greenhouse, Linda. "The Supreme Court: The Opinion--Justices, 6-3, Bar Veto of Line Items in Bills; See H.I.V. as Disability; Ruling on Bias Law." New York Times (June 26, 1998):

"Mary Bonauto, Esq.: The Quest for Gay Equality." (November / December 2004):

Miller, Neil. "Local Heroes: GLAD." The Boston Phoenix (1998):

Van Ness, Gretchen. "Parades and Prejudice: The Incredible True Story of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade and the United States Supreme Court." New England Law Review 30.3 (Spring 1996):


    Citation Information
    Author: Summers, Claude J.  
    Entry Title: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2007  
    Date Last Updated December 14, 2007  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2007 gbltq, Inc.  


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