We believe in social change. We keep fighting for equality
because we have seen so much achieved for LGBT people and
people with HIV. Some days, the change around us seems so
remarkable, it takes my breath away. Some days it comes far too
slowly and we dig in and push harder.
In the 36 years that Lambda Legal has been fighting for equality,
I don’t think there has ever been a moment when so many
victories and opportunities are before us at the very same time
that we face such enormous challenges.
John Paul Stevens is one of the nine justices who currently sit on
the Supreme Court. He clearly understands the role of judges in
America and has been on the majorities issuing important victories
for our communities, from Romer v. Evans to Lawrence v. Texas.
He is nearing retirement.
In 1986, I sat in the U.S. Supreme Court gallery when the Court
heard Bowers v. Hardwick, a challenge to Georgia’s sodomy law.
In a shamefully homophobic decision, the highest court in our
nation said it was perfectly legal to brand lesbians and gay men as
criminals. I was utterly devastated and vowed that we would do
everything in our power to ﬁght back.
Lambda Legal recently took up a case on behalf of the Hudson
Valley, New York, LGBTQ Community Center, after its
application for a nonprofit property tax exemption was denied.
Although the center’s mission clearly entitles it to the exemption,
the city of Kingston did not see it that way. W
It’s official. The summer of 2007 will go down as
Lambda Legal’s summer of equality. Just before
Labor Day, our big marriage win in Iowa capped
a string of victories that touched the lives of
many LGBT people, people with HIV and their
families. What’s astonishing is the sheer breadth
of America we covered — coast to coast from
New Jersey to Washington State, sweeping
through Oklahoma, Ohio and, of course, Iowa.
Not long ago I was approached by someone
at a fundraiser who was curious about what
Lambda Legal’s role in the movement is when
there is new progress taking place in state
legislatures. That’s easy, I said: Our work
becomes even more important.
In your hand, dear reader, you hold the first
issue of Lambda Legal’s Impact magazine. Like
the Lambda Legal Update, which it’s replacing,
Impact will be published three times a year. It will
also feature the same frontline analysis of Lambda
Legal’s cases as well as in-depth coverage of
our educational efforts and public advocacy
campaigns. But that’s where the similarities end.