LGBTQ+ people are under attack. Groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Liberty Counsel have litigated for decades against same-sex relationship recognition and parenting, have conducted trainings for thousands of law students and lawyers, and have built a vast network of pro bono attorneys who support their opposition to equality and inclusion – all under the guise of religion. Following the Obergefell decision in 2015, these groups increased and broadened their litigation and policy attacks on LGBTQ+ people, particularly targeting the most vulnerable in our “family,” our transgender youth. Fueled further by the Trump Administration, numerous members of these groups and the legions of attorneys trained by them have now risen to high level positions within the top echelons of government agencies and the federal judiciary. This plenary session will review the rise of power of these anti-LGBTQ+ legal groups and their misuse of religion, and will discuss the threat they pose both to LGBTQ+ people’s safety and equality and to the sense of fundamental fairness of a secular legal profession. Attendees will learn actions every lawyer can take to push back against these groups while ensuring that their own legal workplaces are LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming.
Speakers: Heron Greenesmith (Political Research Associates); Sharon McGowan (Lambda Legal); Cathy Sakimura (National Center for Lesbian Rights); Brennan Suen (Media Matters); Kasey Suffredini (Freedom For All Americans)
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