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. Under his leadership, Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest LGBT legal organization, protects and promotes equality for all people — regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status — through impact litigation, education and policy work.
Lambda Legal's groundbreaking work changed the legal landscape for LGBT people in 2003 when it won the U.S. Supreme Court victory striking down Texas' "Homosexual Conduct" law and every law like it in the nation. The landmark ruling continues to impact all areas of LGBT people's lives. In 2009, Lambda Legal won a historic and unanimous victory for marriage equality in Iowa, and secured the freedom to marry in New Jersey in 2013. Lambda Legal has a long list of landmark and precedential victories in areas including the rights of LGBTQ youth, transgender rights, and the rights of people living with HIV.
Important programs begun during Cathcart's tenure include Lambda Legal's Foster Care Initiative to improve care of LGBT youth in foster care, whose needs go largely unmet throughout the country. With its national Marriage Project, Lambda Legal plays a leading role in litigation and education to win the freedom to marry. Lambda Legal also has an HIV Project and a Transgender Rights Project.
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, followed by the opening of the Southern Regional Office in Atlanta and the South Central Regional Office in Dallas. From its offices, including the Western Regional Office in Los Angeles and 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 grown five-fold and the organization's budget has increased to $16 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. 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.