Why Federal Courts Matter to the LGBT Community

Find Your State

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

Federal courts play a crucial role in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and those with HIV. Across the country, federal courts are deciding cases involving access to health care, employment protections, safety in schools, the freedom to marry, parenting rights, and family protections for same-sex couples.

LGBT people and those with HIV are an integral part of the fabric of America and are entitled to equality and liberty under the law. Yet, the federal courts—and the judges whose job it is to interpret the law and safeguard our civil rights— are not well understood by the public and many people fail to appreciate their importance. The nomination and confirmation of judges, who serve lifetime terms on the federal bench, must be a priority. Our federal courts should be staffed with a full complement of well-qualified and diverse judges who understand that the rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution apply equally to LGBT people. If we care about equality, we have to care about the courts.

June 21, 2012