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Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.
Lambda Legal filed a motion on behalf of a 63-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 married for long enough despite marrying on the very first day when he was allowed to do so, is unconstitutional.
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.
Lambda Legal and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Justice and BOP seeking all documents and communications connected to its decision to alter the Manual. The changes weaken protections for transgender people who are incarcerated.
On November 12, 2018, Lambda Legal and Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service announced the successful settlement of a 2015 lawsuit filed on behalf of John Dorn against the Michigan Department of Corrections. Mr. Dorn’s settlement with the MDOC includes substantive changes to the MDOC policy directive that allowed disproportionate punishment of incarcerated people living with HIV without adequate justification, an MDOC review and reconsideration of other individuals who were classified to administrative segregation under the former policy, and a monetary settlement.
Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging Kansas’ refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender individuals. Kansas is one of just three states, along with Tennessee and Ohio, that has yet to change this extremely regressive and outdated policy.
Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Third Circuit in a lawsuit over the application of nondiscrimination laws to faith-based providers of child welfare services. Our brief, filed on behalf of organizations serving LGBTQ youth, highlights the harm to LGBTQ youth of allowing child placing agencies to turn away same-sex couples.
On September 13, 2018, Lambda Legal and American Oversight, a non-partisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog committed to transparency and accountability in the executive branch, filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce documents related to Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s work in the George W. Bush administration, particularly his involvement in policies that discriminated against LGBTQ children, families and relationships. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
As the U.S. Senate started the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Lambda Legal and American Oversight filed a lawsuit to compel the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to immediately produce records related to Kavanaugh’s work in the George W. Bush White House. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges the agencies’ failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in August that sought documents related to Kavanaugh’s involvement in Bush administration policies that discriminated against LGBTQ children, families and relationships.
Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National LGBT Bar Association filed an amicus brief urging the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the appeal of Charles Rhines, a gay man on death row in South Dakota.
Lambda Legal filed a complaint in United States District Court on behalf of Nikko Briteramos against the owner of a Los Angeles barbershop who refused to cut Briteramos’s hair because he is living with HIV.
Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Alaska on behalf of Jennifer Fletcher, a state legislative librarian who was forced to pay out-of-pocket for medically necessary surgical treatment because the state health insurance plan prohibits such coverage only for transgender state employees.

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