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Lambda and Queer Economic Justice Network Host Forum on Government Funding of Religious Groups

(NEW YORK, June 19, 2001) — President Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiative,” which would shift federal funding for social services from secular organizations to churches and religious organizations, has ignited debates nationwide. To date, these debates have neglected to address the threat this initiative may pose for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Legal Team Gains Experienced Litigator

(NEW YORK, June 18, 2001) — Further adding to its legal staff, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund on Monday welcomed Adam Aronson as a staff attorney bringing a strong record in civil rights work for lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS.

Lambda Executive Director Kevin M. Cathcart announced Aronson’s arrival, saying “Adam’s proven skill and dedication will greatly enhance Lambda and benefit all those who depend on Lambda’s efforts.”

Court Upholds San Franciscos Landmark Domestic Partnership Law

(LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2001) — In a unanimous decision that Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said could help advance domestic partner benefits around the country, a federal appeals court on Thursday upheld key parts of San Francisco’s landmark Equal Benefits Ordinance that requires city contractors to extend benefits to their unmarried employees.

Lambda Welcomes Hector Vargas to Southern Regional Office in Atlanta

(ATLANTA, June 5, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Tuesday welcomed Hector Vargas as its new regional director in Atlanta, where the legislative lawyer and organizer will advance civil rights efforts on behalf of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS in the South.

Vargas returns to Georgia, his former home, to oversee Lambda’s Southern Regional Office and outreach efforts there and in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Washington's High Court Urged to Uphold Vancouver's Domestic Partner Benefits

(LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is urging the Washington Supreme Court to reject a conservative taxpayer’s assault on Vancouver’s domestic partner benefits plan, and to leave in place the city’s family benefits plan for unmarried city employees.

On Thursday, May 31, the Washington Supreme Court will hear argument in Heinsma v. City of Vancouver; afterwards Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer C. Pizer of Lambda’s Western Regional Office will be available for comment.

Lambda to Argue Appeal of Dental Worker Fired for Having HIV

(ATLANTA, May 16, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is urging a federal court in Atlanta to rule that a dental hygienist’s employer violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing him after learning he has HIV.

Kansas Widow Can Argue That Earlier Sex Change Does Not Invalidate Her Marriage

(NEW YORK, May 11, 2001) — The Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that courts must consider a wide range of factors, and not focus solely on sex at birth when judging the legal gender of a person who has had a sex change operation. The ruling came Friday as the court considered the validity of the marriage of J’Noel Gardiner, a transgender woman, to her husband, Marshall Gardiner, now deceased.

Tennessee's Highest Court Rules in Favor of Lesbian Mother

(ATLANTA, May 2, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said Wednesday that the Tennessee Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in favor of a lesbian mother increases protections for gay parents who live with their partners and have full or partial custody of their children.

Lambda filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, explaining to the court that all available evidence proves a parent’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to children’s well-being and that children do not need to be shielded from their parents’ committed relationships.

Anti-Gay Law Challenged in Ohio

(CHICAGO, May 1, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund has joined forces with the Ashtabula County Public Defender to urge the Ohio Supreme Court to review a case challenging the state’s importuning law, which criminalizes expressions of sexual interest between people of the same sex. Joined in its amicus brief by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Ohio Human Rights Bar Association, Lambda argues that the law violates guarantees of equal protection and free speech, and should be struck down.

Two Men Continue Fight to Overturn Texas Anti-Gay Law

(NEW YORK, April 16, 2001) — Two Houston men who were criminally convicted for having sex in the privacy of their homes are petitioning the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review their case after a Court of Appeals ruling upheld the state’s “Homosexual Conduct” law. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund represents the men and aims to finally bring an end to the state's same-sex only sodomy law.