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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.
Lambda Legal joined Arnold & Porter in a lawsuit filed against the Prince George’s County Public Schools and Board of Education on behalf of a transgender teacher who endured years of abuse, harassment and retaliation at the hands of school administrators, fellow teachers, staff, parents and students after she began to live authentically as the woman she is. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of Jennifer Eller, an English teacher who taught at three schools within the district from 2008 to 2017, when she was forced to resign.
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 friend-of-the-court briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and again in the U.S. Supreme Court in a lawsuit over whether government can enforce nondiscrimination laws when contracting with faith-based providers to screen potential foster parents for children in state care. Our briefs, filed on behalf of organizations serving LGBTQ youth, highlight the harm to LGBTQ youth of allowing faith-based child-placing agencies to use religious criteria to reject same-sex couples who wish to serve as foster parents.
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 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.
Lambda Legal filed an amicus brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman fired by her employer for her gender identity. At issue in the case are both an employment discrimination claim and a religious exemptions issue.
Lambda Legal, Modern Military Association of America (MMAA), with partner law firm Winston & Strawn, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a sergeant in the D.C. Army National Guard who was denied the opportunity to serve as an officer and faces possible discharge from the United States armed services because he is living with HIV. The lawsuit challenges the Pentagon’s current policies preventing enlistment, deployment or commissioning as an officer if a person is living with HIV, and likely would affect implementation of the new “Deploy or Get Out” policy unveiled by the Trump administration in February.

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