Every year at this time, communities
across the United States celebrate Pride. It’s a happy
time—a time to relax and be ourselves, reconnect
with friends and marvel at the astonishing diversity
within our communities—sometimes mixed with
bittersweet thoughts as we remember the loved
ones we lost.
Every year for two decades, the
National LGBT Bar Association has bestowed
its highest honor, the Dan Bradley Award, on
a member of the LGBT legal community who
has made an outstanding contribution to the
advancement of LGBT rights and those of people
living with HIV.
At Lambda Legal, we spend most of our time
making the case for equality in the courts—but we
also fight for freedom in the community and in the
chambers where laws are made.
During Pride season, Lambda Legal staff, members
and volunteers can be found in cities and towns around
the country marching, handing out fact sheets, answering
questions and having fun.
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.