LGBT Bar Association Names Lambda Legal’s Peter Renn One of 2014’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40

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August 25, 2014

The National LGBT Bar Association has named Lambda Legal Western Regional Office Staff Attorney Peter Renn to its annual list of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

The annual list features 40 LGBT legal professionals under the age of 40 who “have distinguished themselves in their field and have demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.”

Renn is lead counsel in two high-profile cases fighting for the rights of those in same-sex relationships to be free from discrimination. In Cervelli v. Aloha Bed & Breakfast, Renn is defending on appeal Lambda Legal’s victory on behalf of a lesbian couple who were denied accommodations at a Hawai’i bed & breakfast due to the business owner’s religious beliefs about same-sex relationships.

In Harris v. Millennium Hotel, Renn won a unanimous ruling from the Alaska Supreme Court for a woman seeking survivor benefits after her long-time partner was shot to death at work. The victory struck down Alaska’s exclusion of same-sex couples from survivor benefits provided to spouses.

Renn is also one of the principal attorneys on Sevcik v. Sandoval, Lambda Legal’s challenge to Nevada’s discriminatory marriage ban, and has litigated cases affecting the most vulnerable among the LGBT community, from youth to transgender prisoners. 

Jon Davidson, Legal Director for Lambda Legal and Eden/Rushing Chair, said:

This is well-deserved recognition for Peter and his exceptional work securing and preserving equal benefits and family protections for LGBT individuals and for same-sex couples and their children. In Alaska, Peter’s argument before the Alaska Supreme Court exposed the Catch-22 that Alaska’s laws created by limiting benefits to those who are married but not allowing same-sex couples to marry. And, in Hawai`i, Peter’s successful representation of a lesbian couple included defeating baseless religious defenses to discrimination that threatened to undermine civil rights protections for everyone. Kudos to Peter for earning this important recognition.

Renn and his fellow awardees were recognized at the 2014 Lavender Law Conference in New York City on August 23. 2014.

Read the press release.