Carl Charles

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Carl Charles is a Staff Attorney in the New York Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV, where he previously served as a law fellow in the Transgender Rights Project. 

During his time at Lambda Legal, Carl has been involved in litigating a number of cases expanding and solidifying federal civil rights protections for transgender people. Most recently, he is counsel in Karnoski v. Trump, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people, counsel in Conforti v. St. Joseph’s Healthcare, a federal lawsuit filed in response to a New Jersey Catholic Hospital’s discriminatory denial of transition-related health care for a transgender man, and counsel in the recently filed Eller v. Prince George’s County School District, a federal lawsuit on behalf of a teacher who endured years of abuse, harassment and retaliation at the hands of school administrators, fellow teachers, staff, parents and students because she is a transgender woman. Carl was also part of the legal team that secured a settlement in Simonson v. Oswego Country, a federal lawsuit on behalf of Sean Simonson, a retired transgender employee of Oswego County who was denied health insurance coverage for transition-related care. In addition to litigation, Carl contributes to federal and state legislative and policy efforts concerning protections for transgender youth and adults in a variety of settings.

Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Carl served as a Staff Attorney with the LGBTQ Rights Project at A Better Balance, where he advocated nationwide for LGBTQ-inclusive family definitions in workplace laws and policies. He also worked as a staff attorney with the New York City Commission on Human Rights Law Enforcement Bureau, investigating and prosecuting violations of New York City Human Rights Law. Carl began his legal career as a Skadden Fellow with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project where he advocated for transgender youth experiencing homelessness, living in out-of-home care, and/or involved in the juvenile justice system. 

Carl has written about his own experiences as a transgender man, as well as legal issues facing transgender people for publications including The Advocate, Conde Nast’s them., and the former LGBTQ Digital News platform IntoCarl is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law where he was co-president of OUTLaw and vice president of the Student Bar Association. He received his bachelor’s degree in English Education from the University of Northern Colorado.