Cases

Find Your State

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

Docket (Open Cases)

Lambda Legal filed a motion on behalf of a 75-year-old gay man arguing that the Social Security Administration’s denial of spousal survivor’s benefits to him, on the grounds that he was not recognized as married for long enough despite discriminatory marriage laws that prevented him from marrying earlier, is unconstitutional. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Frederick Colosimo, who was in a 43-year committed relationship with his husband, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 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 recognized as married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws.
Lambda Legal, Just Detention International (JDI), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Chase Edward Lucas urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s judgment that dismissed Lucas’s complaint alleging denial of medical care and discriminatory treatment because of his sexual orientation. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) the district court dismissed the complaint at the screening stage for failure to state a claim and certified that an appeal would not be taken in good faith.

Recent Victories

The trial court issued a mutual restraining order against Appellant Maria C. without properly applying section 6305 of the California Family Code, which requires a trial court to make detailed factual findings that each party acted as a primary aggressor and not primarily in self-defense in order to issue mutual domestic violence restraining orders (“DVRO”).
Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against Oswego County and the Oswego County Department of Social Services (DSS) on behalf of Sean Simonson, a retired transgender county employee.

Landmark Cases

In groundbreaking 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. This came after Lambda Legal urged the Court to reverse a lower court ruling and allow Kimberly Hively to present her case alleging that Ivy Tech Community College, where she worked as an instructor for 14 years, denied her fulltime employment and promotions and eventually terminated her employment because she is a lesbian.
The landmark case that helped bring equal marriage nationwide.

Selected Cases

Lambda Legal filed a motion on behalf of a 75-year-old gay man arguing that the Social Security Administration’s denial of spousal survivor’s benefits to him, on the grounds that he was not recognized as married for long enough despite discriminatory marriage laws that prevented him from marrying earlier, is unconstitutional. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Frederick Colosimo, who was in a 43-year committed relationship with his husband, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 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 recognized as married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws.
Lambda Legal, Just Detention International (JDI), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Chase Edward Lucas urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s judgment that dismissed Lucas’s complaint alleging denial of medical care and discriminatory treatment because of his sexual orientation. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) the district court dismissed the complaint at the screening stage for failure to state a claim and certified that an appeal would not be taken in good faith.