Omar Gonzalez-Pagan is a Staff Attorney in the National Headquarters Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV. His work spans all aspects of Lambda Legal’s impact litigation, policy advocacy and public education efforts, with particular emphasis on relationship recognition, LGBT youth, transgender rights, and issues affecting Spanish-speaking LGBT and HIV-affected communities.
Gonzalez-Pagan played an active role in securing the freedom to marry for same sex couples and their families across the United States. As a member of the legal team in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, Gonzalez-Pagan helped secure marriage equality at the U.S. Supreme Court while representing four same-sex couples seeking respect for their out-of-state marriage and accurate birth certificates for their Ohio-born children in Henry v. Hodges. He was also lead counsel in Conde-Vidal v. Rius-Armendariz, the successful challenge to Puerto Rico’s marriage ban in which he represented four same-sex couples and Puerto Rico Para [email protected], a Puerto Rico-based LGBT advocacy organization, and was co-counsel in Robicheaux v. Caldwell, the successful challenge to Louisiana’s marriage ban brought by eleven same-sex couples and the Forum for Equality, a Louisiana-based LGBT advocacy organization.
Gonzalez-Pagan is counsel in Smith v. Avanti, a federal housing discrimination case against a Colorado property owner and landlord who refused to rent a dwelling to a same-sex couple, one of whom is transgender, and their children on account of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and familial status. He also is co-counsel in Hamm v. City of New York, a federal lawsuit against New York City and Department of Correction (DOC) officers and supervisors on behalf of a gay man brutally attacked while visiting his incarcerated partner at a Rikers Island correctional facility.
Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Gonzalez-Pagan worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant Attorney General, a Special Assistant District Attorney, and an Associate General Counsel to the Massachusetts Inspector General. As an Assistant Attorney General, Gonzalez-Pagan was part of the team that represented the Commonwealth in Massachusetts v. HHS, Massachusetts’s successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He also successfully obtained injunctive relief for victims of hate crimes that were targeted based on their sexual orientation and civilly prosecuted housing discrimination cases.
Gonzalez-Pagan has been recognized as one of 2016’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association and a Public Interest Leader by the Boston Bar Association. In 2012, he was selected as a Fellow by the New Leaders Council in recognition for his commitment to the public interest and progressive values.
Gonzalez-Pagan received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. He also possesses a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cornell University. Gonzalez-Pagan was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is fluent in Spanish.
Gonzalez-Pagan is a member of the bars of Massachusetts and New York.