Cases

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

Docket (Open Cases)

Payne-Elliott sued the archdiocese for compelling Cathedral High School to fire him or lose its Catholic status because Payne-Elliott was married to a man.
Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State of North Carolina’s discriminatory policy requiring transgender people to have undergone “sex reassignment surgery” in order for them to obtain an accurate birth certificate reflecting who they are.

Recent Victories

A lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband, who died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Ely in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona argues that SSA’s imposition of a nine-month marriage requirement for social security survivor’s benefits is unconstitutional where same-sex couples were not able to be married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws. If you married your same-sex spouse, but were unable to be married for at least nine months before your spouse’s death because of discriminatory marriage laws where you lived, you may be a member of the Ely class. Click here for the Ely FAQ: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/20210212_ely_faq
Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging Kansas’ refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender individuals. At the time of the filing, Kansas was one of just three states, along with Tennessee and Ohio, that had yet to change this extremely regressive and outdated policy.

Landmark Cases

A lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband, who died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Ely in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona argues that SSA’s imposition of a nine-month marriage requirement for social security survivor’s benefits is unconstitutional where same-sex couples were not able to be married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws. If you married your same-sex spouse, but were unable to be married for at least nine months before your spouse’s death because of discriminatory marriage laws where you lived, you may be a member of the Ely class. Click here for the Ely FAQ: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/20210212_ely_faq
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision approving the analysis Lambda Legal has been advancing for fifteen years that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is sex discrimination, and violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law, which often is referred to as “Title VII,” prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.

Selected Cases

Payne-Elliott sued the archdiocese for compelling Cathedral High School to fire him or lose its Catholic status because Payne-Elliott was married to a man.
In November 2021, Lambda Legal along with co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of 14-year-old Luc Esquivel who is banned from participating the boys’ golf team at his high school in Knoxville, Tennessee because he is transgender.