12 in 2012: 12 Things Lambda Legal Accomplished in 2012

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December 12, 2012

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From coast to coast, Lambda Legal fought and won many key victories for LGBT people, people living with HIV, and their families. Here are just some of the highlights.

1. We successfully defended a high school student's freedom of expression.
Lambda Legal client Maverick Couch had been threatened with suspension for wearing a “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe” T-shirt. Now he can wear it on any day he chooses.

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2. We fought workplace discrimination in Texas and Georgia.
A Texas college agreed to settle a federal lawsuit Lambda Legal brought on behalf of former professor Jacqueline Gill. And the City of Atlanta has paid $250,000 to settle with a Lambda Legal client who was denied a job as a police officer because he has HIV.

3. We helped a lesbian add her wife to the lease on their home.
A New York City landlord is now following the law and has added Regina Hawkins-Balducci’s wife to the lease on her rent-stabilized apartment. 

4. In Arizona, we protected domestic partner benefits. And we made the case at the U.S. Supreme Court for the state’s LGBT immigrants.
Health coverage for same-sex partners of state employees remains in place, protecting gay and lesbian employees' families. Lambda Legal also participated in a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070.

5. We conducted a national survey on police and government misconduct.
We commissioned a study on the discrimination LGBT people and people living with HIV experience when dealing with police, school security, courts and the prison system. More than 3,000 people shared their experiences.

6. We fought DOMA—and won in federal court.
The Court is expected to review the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

7. We sued for the freedom to marry in Nevada and Illinois, and pressed on in our marriage lawsuit in New Jersey.
Lambda Legal represents a total of 30 same-sex couples and their families in three states, as well as the LGBT advocacy organization Garden State Equality.

8. We fought laws that criminalize HIV. And we went to the Supreme Court on behalf of people living with the virus.
Lambda Legal appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court on behalf of Nick Rhoades, an HIV-positive man sentenced to 25 years in prison and post-release registration as a sex offender after having a one-time sexual encounter with another man during which they used a condom. Lambda Legal also filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of 16 national HIV advocacy organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the health care reform law, focusing on the importance of this legislation to people living with HIV.

9. We secured justice for an Iowa mom who was erased from her stillborn son’s death certificate. Lambda Legal represents Jenny and Jessica Buntemeyer, a married couple who sought an accurate document from the state health department.

10. We’re fighting for survivor benefits for a grieving Alaska same-sex partner.
Lambda Legal is challenging the state’s exclusion of same-sex couples from survivor benefits, on behalf of a woman whose partner was killed by a disgruntled former employee.  

11. We sued over unlawful release of sex sting info.
Against court orders, the police in Westchester County, N.Y., released to the media names and photos of more than a dozen men arrested in a sting. Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the county.

12. We’re representing a transgender state employee denied coverage for medically necessary treatment.
Lambda Legal is suing the state of Oregon and the Public Employee's Benefit Board on behalf of Alec Esquivel.

Help us accomplish even more in 2013.
Make a gift today!