Kevin M. Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal since 1992, is a leading strategist and spokesperson in the movement to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Cathcart has made Lambda Legal an unparalleled national force through its far-reaching litigation and public education. Under his leadership, Lambda Legal promotes security, respect and fairness for lesbian and gay youth, families and all people, regardless of sexual orientation or HIV status.
Lambda Legal's groundbreaking work reached new heights in 2003 when it won a U.S. Supreme Court victory striking down Texas' "Homosexual Conduct" law and every law like it in the nation. Lambda Legal was lead counsel in the case, representing two men who were arrested in Houston while having consensual sex at home. The landmark ruling continues to impact all areas of LGBT people's lives, and Cathcart has mapped out a wide-ranging strategy for Lambda Legal to turn its historic court victory into a reality in people's everyday lives. In 2009, Lambda Legal won a historic and unanimous victory for marriage equality in Iowa, extending the organization’s record of groundbreaking accomplishments.
Other unique programs begun during Cathcart's tenure include Lambda Legal's Foster Care Initiative to improve care of lesbian and gay youth in foster care, whose needs go largely unmet throughout the country. With its Marriage Project, Lambda Legal plays a leading role in litigation and education to win the freedom to marry.
Cathcart has fostered dramatic growth in the organization as well as in the scope of its work. He oversaw the opening of Lambda Legal's second regional office, the Midwest Regional Office in Chicago in 1993, followed by the opening of the Southern Regional Office in Atlanta and the South Central Regional Office in Dallas. From its regional offices, including the Western Regional Office in Los Angeles and from its New York Headquarters, Lambda Legal responds to requests for help and information from thousands of individuals facing discrimination each year. Since Cathcart took Lambda Legal's helm, the staff has more than quadrupled and the organization's budget has grown to just over $10 million.
A longtime leader in the lesbian and gay community, Cathcart served from 1984 to 1992 as executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, New England's lesbian, gay, and AIDS legal organization. Prior to GLAD, Cathcart was a staff attorney at the North Shore Children's Law Project. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the LGBT Executive Director’s Institute. Cathcart graduated from Richard Stockton State College (New Jersey) in 1976 and the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1978. He received his J.D. from Northeastern School of Law in 1982.