Lecture Series

Lecture Series

The LGBT Bar’s Lecture Series features some of the best legal minds in the country discussing some of the most critical legal issues we face today.

  • Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the Future of the Supreme Court

    July 17th, 2018

    On Friday, July 13, the National LGBT Bar Association hosted a call-in addressing the Supreme Court’s future in light of Justice Kennedy’s resignation and the President’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Our panel discussed how Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will affect the court, his judicial record, and what can we expect in the months and years ahead.

    Speakers are Lindsay Harrison, Jenner & Block, and Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal. The discussion is moderated by Merritt McAlister, University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

  • Gill v. Whitford: What Comes Next?

    July 11th, 2018

    On Friday, June 22, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in addressing the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Gill v. Whitford, and what this decision means for the nation and for voting rights moving forward. Members of the LGBT Bar had the opportunity to listen to expert panelists, Paul Smith and Laura Brill, discuss the future of redistricting in America.

  • Masterpiece Cakeshop: What does it mean and what comes next?

    June 14th, 2018

    A call-in from the National LGBT Bar Association addressing the Supreme Court’s decision on the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and what this decision means for the LGBT and legal communities moving forward.

    Panelists are Rose Saxe (Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project) and Tobias Barrington Wolff (Professor of law, University of Pennsylvania). The panel is moderated by D’Arcy Kemnitz (Executive Director, National LGBT Bar Association) and Judi O’Kelley (Chief Program Officer, the National LGBT Bar Association).

  • Employment Law Post-Evans

    March 13th, 2018

    A call-in addressing the state of employment law with regard to LGBT rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital and the Second Circuit’s ruling in Zarda v. Altitude Express.

    Speakers: Pierce Blue, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jennifer Levi, GLAD, and Greg Nevins, Lambda Legal.

  • The Trump Presidency: How Underrepresented Populations are Faring One Year Later

    February 28th, 2018

    A call-in occurring nearly a year to the day of President Trump’s Inauguration. It will give you the opportunity to hear from legal experts addressing the effects of the current administration’s policies on diverse populations and communities throughout the country and the world.

    Speakers: Shannon Minter, NCLR, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Lambda Legal, Patricia Hernandez, Rotella & Hernandez, and Sirine Shebaya, Muslim Advocates.

    Hosted by LGBT bar, along with the Hispanic National Bar Association

  • Masterpiece Cakeshop and the Supreme Court

    February 28th, 2018

    A call-in addressing Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Justices will assess whether, through Colorado’s public accommodations law, Masterpiece Cakeshop can be compelled to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples or whether the owner’s religious beliefs prevent him from having to comply under the First Amendment.

    Speakers: Adam Unikowsky, Jenner & Block, Ria Tabacco Mar, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Tobias Barrington Wolff, University of Pennsylvania Law School

  • Protecting Our Constitutional Rights: Gill v. Whitford

    October 11th, 2017

    A call-in on the Supreme Court partisan gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford, featuring Paul Smith who presented oral arguments.

    Speakers: Paul Smith, Campaign Legal Center; Kathleen Hartnett, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP; and Liz Kennedy, Center for American Progress

  • DACA and Our Communities: What You Need to Know

    September 25th, 2017

    A call-in on the impact of ending DACA on so many intersectional communities in this country.

    Speakers: Scott Titshaw, Mercer University School of Law; H. Marissa Montes, Loyola Law School; and Allen Orr, Jr., Orr Immigration Law Firm P.C.

  • The Importance of Allyship: A Discussion of the LGBT Bar's Ally Initiative

    July 20th, 2017

    A call-in on the importance of allies in the LGBT community and the Bar’s new Ally Initiative.

    Speakers: Jennifer Carrion, Mintz Levin Cohen Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC; Michelle Ifill, Verizon; Adeel Mangi, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; and Rick Richardson, GlaxoSmithKline

  • So You Want to be a Judge? Learn How to Navigate the Process of Getting on the Bench

    March 10th, 2017

    Hear from three prominent LGBT judges as they discuss the election and appointment processes they faced while entering the judiciary.

    Speakers: Judge Steven Kirkland, Civil District Court, Harris County, Texas; Judge Laura Duffy, California Superior Court, San Diego; and Judge Victoria Kolakowski, California Superior Court, Alameda County

  • Ensuring Your Future: Making the Administrative Procedure Act Work for You

    February 15th, 2017

    On Tuesday, February 14th, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in addressing the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Speakers discussed how the drastic change in leadership and the potential defunding of agencies by the Trump Administration can affect the many regulations protecting us.

    Hear from speakers including Len Sandler, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Iowa School of Law, & Director, Law and Policy Action Clinic; Ken Choe, Partner, Hogan Lovells; Jane Perkins, Legal Director, National Health Law Program (NHeLP)

  • Protecting Those Who Uphold Rule of Law: Addressing the Whistleblower Protection Act

    January 26th, 2017

    The LGBT Bar hosted a call-in addressing the Whistleblower Protection Act. With the recent change in administration and tumultuous confirmation hearings of cabinet appointees, the LGBT Bar received a number of requests to address the process for government employees who witness unlawful acts. The call-in covered whistleblower rights, as well as the process of reporting misconduct in governmental agencies.

    Hear from expert speakers including Julie Chovanes, Founder, Executive Director, and Legal Program Director, Trans Resource Foundation, LLC; Laura Dumais, Staff Counsel, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER); Richard Condit, Of Counsel, Mehri & Skalet

  • Life or Death: Immigration, Intersectionality, & What You Can Do to Help

    December 7th, 2016

    On Thursday, December 1, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in, co-sponsored by HNBA and NAPABA, addressing the increased risk of deportation as a result of the change in administration.  The most vulnerable among us are the most frequent targets of attacks, especially following the nationalistic and hateful rhetoric of this campaign season. The United States currently hosts more than eleven million undocumented workers, who provide an irreplaceable work force.

    Let’s stop agonizing and start organizing; make an immediate difference in the lives of detainees today. The LGBT Bar is searching for volunteers, both Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking, willing to provide assistance to women and children fleeing from persecution that are now being detained at the family detention center in Dilley, TX.

    Hear from expert speakers including Scott Titshaw, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor, Mercer University School of Law; Elaine Cintron, Associate Attorney, Lichter Immigration; and Noemi Masliah, Partner, The Masliah Firm.


  • Rights On The Line: G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board

    November 21st, 2016

    On Thursday, November 17, the LGBT Bar hosted a call-in regarding the upcoming Supreme Court case, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. 

    Hear from leading experts Shannon Minter, Legal Director, NCLR; Joshua Block, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project and Counsel of Record for G.G.; and Adam Unikowsky, Partner, Jenner & Block, as they discuss the case itself, the current state of the Supreme Court, and G.G.’s impact on the larger LGBT movement. No other call will bring you closer to the front lines of this case or the battle in the judiciary.

  • All Eyes on Texas: Houston, HERO, and Where We Go From Here

    December 18th, 2015

    The LGBT Bar hosted a webinar addressing the impact of the HERO vote on December 11, 2015. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), introduced and backed by Mayor Annise Parker, prohibits discrimination on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in city employment, housing, public accommodations and other arenas. Despite widespread support from national LGBT organizations, the measure was defeated by Houston voters on November 3, 2015 in a widely-publicized and bitterly-debated referendum. To listen to the entirety of the webinar, please click on the link below. Speakers included Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Kylar Broadus, Attorney at Law and Transgender Rights Activist; and Monica Roberts, Author of TransGriot and Transgender Rights Activist.

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition for Same-Sex Couples

    January 30th, 2015

    On January 16, the United States Supreme Court made history, granting a writ of certiorari for cases in four states regarding relationship recognition for same-sex couples. In taking this case, the Court may now provide a final decision on marriage equality at the state level, particularly the question of whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marriage. The LGBT Bar hosted a national call-in on January 30, 2015, to discuss the Court’s decision and what to expect next. Speakers from NCLR and GLAD – organizations representing two of the couples whose cases will be heard before the Supreme Court – discuss the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s decision, possible rulings and the implications for LGBT couples across the country. Speakers were Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Janson Wu, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court

    October 9th, 2014

    On Monday, October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court made a historic decision by declining to hear all five state relationship recognition cases pending in the upcoming term. The milestone decision will allow same-sex couples to marry in five states, with six more likely to follow suit. As soon as the Court’s decision was released, practitioners scrambling to analyze the Justices’ decision as well as its impact for couples in states across the country. Expert speakers discussed the intricacies behind the decision and what’s next for LGBT rights. Speakers included Paul Smith, a partner at Jenner & Block; Tobias Barrington Wolff, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Paul Wolfson, a partner at WilmerHale who has argued 21 cases in the Supreme Court.

  • International Webinar: Sochi 2014: A Legal and Personal Perspective

    January 30th, 2014

    The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics is just days away. As LGBT athletes from around the world converge on Russia, advocates, legal professionals and the LGBT community are asking: How will the Russian government’s anti-gay laws impact the games, the athletes and visitors? In June, Russia enacted an anti-LGBT propaganda law that drew international criticism. In recent days, as world media has questioned Vladmir Putin and the Russian government about the law’s implementation during the Games, officials’ responses have done little to quell serious concerns among human rights advocates and monitors. Speakers included Dmitri Bartenev, who is currently practicing law and teaching international law and human rights at St. Petersburg State University; Arkady Gyngazov, former manager of Central Station Nightclub in Moscow who is seeking asylum in the United States; Michael Sisitzky, a staff attorney for Immigration Equality; and Robert Wintemute, a professor of Human Rights Law in the School of Law, King’s College, University of London where he teaches European Union Law, Human Rights Law, and Anti-Discrimination Law.

  • National Call-In: Religious Exemptions for Corporations

    December 12th, 2013
    Members Only

    The National LGBT Bar Association hosted a call-in on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding whether corporations can refuse to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives based on the religious beliefs of the corporations’ owners. The issue of corporations refusing to adhere to generally accepted, national laws, could have broad implications, especially for the LGBT community. If the Supreme Court rules that the religious beliefs of corporations’ owners can override the implementation of standard regulations, will corporations also be able to discriminate against LGBT employees? Religious exemptions have long been a barrier to full equality. Speakers included Doug NeJaime, professor of law at UC Irvine School of Law; Jenny Pizer, Senior Counsel and Director of Lambda Legal’s Law and Policy Project; and Rose Saxe, a staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender and AIDS Projects.

  • National Call-In: Diversity in Corporate Legal Departments

    October 23rd, 2013

    The National LGBT Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Division hosted a call-in to build on discussions that began at the Corporate Counsel Institute at the 2013 Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair. In-house counsel discussed managing outside counsel costs and how to increase the use of minority firms, with specific attention paid to LGBT-owned firms. Speakers reflected on their understanding of corporate legal departments and hiring outside counsel to explore two issues of great importance to all organizations. Speakers included Andrew Fossett, Senior Vice President of Corporate Transactions for the Legal Department of NBCUniversal; J.D. Fugate, Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs – Enterprise Privacy in Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs; Matthew Morningstar, Executive Director and Counsel in Morgan Stanley’s US Litigation Department; and John Myung, Chief Legal Officer of the International Insurance Law Division of Prudential Financial.

  • National Call-In: Managing Parental Conflict about Trans Kids

    August 7th, 2013

    The National LGBT Bar Association, along with the LGBT Family Law Institute, hosted a call-in discussing managing parental conflict about trans kids. One of the most painful experiences for a gender nonconforming or transgender child or youth is getting caught in the crossfire between two (or more) parents who cannot come to an agreement about what will be best for their child. The fields of mental health and law have not always been effective at curbing parents’ confusion and mutual antagonism. However, it is possible for parents to minimize the harm to their child by focusing on their child’s best interests. Speakers included Diane Ehrensaft, Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center; Asaf Orr, a staff attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Deborah Wald, the founding partner of Wald & Thorndal, PC.

  • National Webinar: LGBT Tax Law Following the Supreme Court Decisions

    July 9th, 2013
    Members Only

    The National LGBT Bar Association hosted a webinar discussing the rapidly changing tax regulations for LGBT couples in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Federal recognition of same-sex marriages affects hundreds of laws and regulations and it is important to understand the implications of federal recognition, especially in an area as complex as tax law. Our speakers, leading tax law practitioners, discussed the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling on LGBT tax law including how to file, changing regulations for LGBT taxpayers and next steps for relationship recognition. Speakers included Pat Cain, professor of law at Santa Clara University; Kate Fletcher, who provides tax and estate planning services to clients in Virginia; and Deb Kinney, a partner at DLKLawGroup.

  • National Call-In: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court (Part 3)

    June 27th, 2013
    Members Only

    Building on our previous two call-ins, held on March 19 and April 9, our expert litigators discussed the landmark decisions in the two relationship recognition cases heard by the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. analyze the opinions written by the justices and the impact the decisions will have on the LGBT community. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Webinar: Talking About Marriage

    June 18th, 2013
    Members Only

    Given the upcoming Supreme Court decisions and the increasing number of states granting full relationship recognition to same-sex couples, the LGBT community must now fully consider the issues that accompany a marriage proposal. Our expert speakers will ask the difficult questions about topics such as prenuptial agreements, estate planning and social security. As leading tax law professionals, they will discuss the many issues surrounding taxes for LGBT couples that will impact families for years to come. Additionally, topics such as the differences between marriage and domestic partnerships will be analyzed.  Speakers included Pat Cain, professor of law at Santa Clara University; Kate Fletcher, who provides tax and estate planning services to clients in Virginia; and Deb Kinney, a partner at DLKLawGroup.

  • National Call-in: Montana Decriminalizes Sodomy

    April 22nd, 2013

    Steve Bullock, Montana’s Governor, signed a bill decriminalizing sodomy on Thursday, April 18, 2013 after the House and Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support. A surprising 19 states still have a law criminalizing same-sex intimacy despite the landmark ruling in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, legalizing same-sex sexual activity in all states. Speakers will discuss current issues and legislation surrounding sodomy laws in the United States. Additionally, Montana’s efforts to pass this legislation will be examined. Speakers included Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal; Brian Simons, Associate at Saul Ewing LLP; and Shane Vannatta, Past-President of the Montana State Bar Association.

  • National Call-in: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court (Part 2)

    April 9th, 2013

    Building on our previous call-in, held on March 19, our knowledgeable speakers discussed the oral arguments in the two relationship recognition cases heard by the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The call focused on any insight the arguments gave towards possible Supreme Court rulings and how the decisions could impact the LGBT community. Additionally, the call analyzed the questions posed by the justices and the varied interpretations that have arisen following the arguments. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Call-in: Relationship Recognition and the Supreme Court

    March 19th, 2013

    The call discussed the pending relationship recognition cases in the Supreme Court – Windsor v. United States andHollingsworth v. Perry – and the potential impact the decisions could have on the LGBT community. The call focused on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the constitutional conflicts that arise when the federal government’s definition of marriage conflicts with state definitions. Speakers discussed possible Supreme Court rulings and what the varying decisions could mean for same-sex couples. Additionally, California’s Proposition 8 was examined, especially in terms of how a broad ruling could impact other states across the country. Our speakers, experienced legal practitioners, used their first-hand knowledge of the Court and these cases to look ahead to a potential watershed moment for the LGBT community. Speakers included Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and Paul Smith, Partner at Jenner & Block.

  • National Call-in: Reauthorization of an Inclusive Violence Against Women Act

    March 13th, 2013

    On March 7, 2013, President Obama made history by signing into law a fully inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that had been passed by Congress. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and VAWA helps victims get the help and support they need and also works towards preventing domestic violence altogether. This reauthorization marks the first time that VAWA has included protections for LGBT individuals, including gay men and the transgender community; Native American women; and immigrant victims who are not yet United States citizens. Additionally, it is the first time that LGBT individuals have had explicit protection from domestic violence and non-discrimination protection. Speakers included Rebecca Henry, the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Commission on Domestic Violence at the American Bar Association; Terra Slavin, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s lead staff attorney in its Legal Services Department and Project Manager of its Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project; and Sharon Stapel,Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

  • Spanish-Language National Call-in

    February 5th, 2013

    Lawyers from Spain, Mexico and New York discussed being out in their communities and how it has affected their lives and their law practices. They described the LGBT legal situation where they live and work, including recent developments and cultural changes.  They then discussed the importance of Spanish language fluency for LGBT lawyers and trends for the future. Our speakers were Manuel Ródenas, who works for the Comunidad de Madrid; Abril Rodríguez Esparza, an associate with Tron Abogados Mexico; and Carlos Dávila-Caballero, the manager of diversity and inclusion at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

    en español
    Abogados abiertamente LGTB de España, México y Nueva York discutirán ser LGTB en la profesión y en sus respectivas comunidades y cómo ser LGBT ha afectado sus vidas y desarrollo profesional. Los panelistas describirán la situación LGTB legal donde viven y trabajan, incluyendo desarrollos recientes y cambios culturales. Ellos discutirán la importancia de ser abogados LGTB que hablan Español y tendencias para el futuro. Los panelistas fueron Manuel Ródenas, que trabaja para la Comunidad de Madrid, Abril Rodríguez Esparza, asociado con Tron Abogados México, y Carlos Dávila-Caballero, Director de la diversidad y la inclusión en Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

  • National Call-in: Issues in LGBT Immigration

    January 28th, 2013

    The call focused on the general topic of LGBT immigration. Speakers discussed how the Defense of Marriage Act is especially debilitating for same-sex couples in the context of US immigration and nationality law and how rulings in the upcoming Supreme Court cases will affect LGBT families. Additionally, new developments in LGBT asylum were analyzed, including what is working and what is not in terms of keeping families together. The call was co-sponsored by Immigration Equality, a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for the LGBT community. Victoria Neilson, executive director of Immigration Equality; Lavi Soloway, partner at Masliah & Soloway; and Scott Titshaw, a professor at Mercer University School of Law discussed the many issues that LGBT families and individuals face when it comes to immigration.

  • National Call-in: Current Issues Affecting Adoption by Members of the LGBT Community

    November 28th, 2012

    November is National Adoption Month. More than 100,000 children are currently in foster care, waiting to find permanent, loving families. Unfortunately, there are numerous barriers in place that prevent LGBT families from adopting these children. Experts on adoption law will discuss the laws that impede same-sex couples from creating families as well as recent litigation challenging those policies and allowing LGBT couples to become loving parents. Speakers will cover topics such as the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Adar decision and state by state laws for adoptive parents. This call was co-sponsored by the Family Equality Council, a national organization committed to supporting LGBT families across the country, and featured speakers from the Family Law Institute, a group of experienced law practitioners jointly supported by the LGBT Bar and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council; Debra Guston, managing partner of Guston & Guston LLP; and Denise Seidelman, partner at Rumbold & Seidelman raised awareness about adoption law and helped promote National Adoption Month.

  • National Call-in: Election Day Relationship Recognition Victories

    November 13th, 2012

    On November 6, four states featured relationship recognition measures on their ballots. In all four states –Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington– voters awarded major victories to same-sex couples. In Minnesota voters struck down a ban on marriage equality. Maryland, Maine, and Washington became the first three states to legalize marriage for same-sex couples through a ballot referendum. However, Arizona was the first state to reject a ballot initiative that would have banned forms of relationship recognition for same-sex couples, doing so in 2006. Experts from all four states will join us to discuss how victory was achieved and what the results mean for the LGBT community. Mary Bonauto, director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)’s Civil Rights Project; Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland; Jamie Pedersen, Washington State Representative and vice president and general counsel of McKinstry; and John Sullivan, corporate secretary of Minnesotans United for All Families examined how victory was achieved and what the results mean for the LGBT community.

  • National Call-in: Voter Suppression Laws in Florida

    September 21st, 2012

    National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in that will discuss the voter suppression laws in Florida. Florida passed a law that reduced the early voting period from 14 days to 8 days and eliminated early voting the Sunday before the election. Also, voters are no longer able to update their registration at the polls if they have moved within the state. Another Florida law stipulated that all voter registration groups must register within the state. Parts of that law have been blocked, but many are still in effect. These laws unfairly target low income and minority populations who take advantage of early voting and often do not have the time or resources to fill out additional forms. Julie Ebenstein, policy and advocacy counsel for the ACLU of Florida; Diana Kasdan, counsel for the Brennan Center of Justice’s Democracy Program; and Uzoma Nkwonta, staff attorney for the Advancement Project discussed the many ongoing cases in Florida and how they will impact upcoming elections. This is the final part of a lecture series that will examine voter suppression laws in three states across the country.

  • National Call-in: Voter Suppression Laws in Ohio

    September 19th, 2012

    National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in that will discuss the voter suppression laws in Ohio. Last year, Ohio shortened the early-voting period from 35 days to 17 days and eliminated early voting three days before an election. Minority and low-income voters are most affected as they often choose to vote early because their jobs do not allow them to take time off to vote. Also, transportation might not be stable or reliable enough to allow them to vote on Election Day. Jennifer Brunner, former Ohio Secretary of State; Susan Becker, board president of the Ohio ACLU; and Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program discussed these laws and how they will impact the upcoming election. This is part of a lecture series that will examine voter suppression laws in three states across the country.

  • National Call-in: Voter ID Law in Pennsylvania

    September 11th, 2012

    National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in that will discuss the recent enactment of strict voter ID laws in Pennsylvania. Transgender individuals who may not have an ID that accurately reflects their gender or appearance, and low-income and elderly voters without access to updated forms of identification are most affected by these laws. David Rosenblum, director of legal services for the Mazzoni Center; Larry Felzer, director of development and finance for SeniorLAW Center; and Witold Walkczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania discussed the new voter ID law and its ramifications. This is part of a lecture series that will examine voter suppression laws in three states across the country.

  • National Call-in: A Day in the Life of a JAG Officer

    July 10th, 2012

    It was not even a year ago that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” law was officially ended. Since then, openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members no longer have to worry about being discharged for who they are. Military recruiters Captain Laura DeSioLieutenant Colonel Mary Card-Mina and Lieutenant Tashinda Richardson, all of whom have extensive experience speaking with the National Association of Law Placement, will explain the opportunities for lesbian, gay and bisexual service members and a day in the life of a JAG officer.

  • National Call-in: Updates on Recent Challenges to DOMA

    June 18th, 2012

    On May 31, 2012, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This is just the latest victory against the 1996 law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.  Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director for GLAD, Maura Healeychief attorney for the Civil Rights Division at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, and Bill Eskridge, John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, will discuss the First Circuit Court’s decision and the future of the case.

  • National Call-in: Recent EEOC Ruling

    June 5th, 2012

    In co-sponsorship with the National Employment Lawyers Association and Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in to discuss the recent decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the case of Macy v. Holder. The EEOC ruled that transgender individuals are included under Title VII, which protects employees and applicants from being discriminated against based on sex. The landmark ruling has ensured that under federal law, transgender individuals now have a legal recourse to file formal complaints against employers on the basis of sex discrimination. The magnitude of the EEOC’s decision cannot be overstated – LGBT individuals now have federal support and resources to fight for equality within the workplace. Join us as experts, includingChai Feldblum, commissioner of the EEOC, discuss the major impact this decision will have on the LGBT community. Other speakers include Laura Maechtlen, partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Ilona Turner, legal director for the Transgender Law Center.

  • LGBT Issues and the Muslim Community

    April 23rd, 2012

    Muslim and LGBT communities are often portrayed as holding competing and incompatible worldviews, distinct and non‐overlapping cultural identities and mutually exclusive political values and goals. But what is the reality in North America? Does this narrative of irreconcilable conflict depict the day‐to‐day reality of these communities? To what extent is this narrative used to obscure and deny the existence of shared worldviews, overlapping identities and common political goals? And does this narrative really serve Muslim LGBT communities in North America or does it divide and conquer oppressed communities and help maintain the status quo? Join us for a discussion of these questions and more. Speakers include El-Farouk Khaki, Canadian lawyer and human rights activist and Khurshid Khoja, general counsel for Emerald Growers Association.

  • Transgender Advocacy and Medical Frameworks

    April 18th, 2012

    The National LGBT Bar Association would like to invite you to a call‐in with two of our nation’s leading experts on transgender rights and strategy talk about the connections between transgender advocacy and medical frameworks for understanding transgender identities and transsexualism. The subject of this discussion is even more pressing in light of the American Psychiatric Association’s forthcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) which classifies many transgender people as having a mental health condition. Should attorneys and transgender clients pursue disability claims? What are the implications for arguing that gender transition‐related care is medically necessary? Come join us for a fascinating hour‐long discussion to hear answers to these and other burning legal questions you may have on related topics. Speakers include Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Attorney for Lamda Legal and Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project.


  • Recent Cases Challenging the Defense of Marriage Act

    April 13th, 2012

    The National LGBT Bar Association would like to invite you to a national call in that will discuss the recent Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) challenge. Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director for GLAD, Maura Healey and Bill Eskridge, John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, will discuss the DOMA case in Boston that was recently was heard by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals, referred to as Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. The current case is a consolidation of three previous cases. The first involves U.S. Postal Worker Nancy Gill and her wife, Marcelle Letourneau, who have been denied federal health benefits that all other married couples receive. The second, filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General, also challenges section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Gill v. Office of Personnel Management will be the first DOMA challenge to go before the U.S. Appeals Court and could possibly reach the Supreme Court next year.

  • Legal Challenges Facing the Intersex Community

    April 5th, 2012

    The intersex community is considering a number of legal challenges to current harmful practices.  During this call-in,Anne Tamar-Mattis, director of Advocates for Informed Choice, and Professor Julie Greenberg will discuss (1) current harmful medical practices, including unconsented to cosmetic genital surgeries and involuntary sterilizations, (2) proposed changes to current rules regulating athletic competition participation, and (3) other discriminatory practices affecting the intersex community.  They will advise attorneys working with the LGBT community about spotting these issues and developing effective legal strategies, including sex and disability discrimination arguments, to mount successful challenges.  For those interested in background information about intersexuality, see the websites for Advocates for Informed Choice (aiclegal.org) and the Intersex Society of North America (http://isna.org/).

  • End of Life Planning for the LGBT Community

    March 7th, 2012

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients consult lawyers to protect their families at time of crisis, particularly end of life decisions. Yet, horror stories abound. Listen to three experienced attorneys discuss how to write documents that can withstand attack and what advice to give clients when they are confronted with hostility when trying to enforce their rights. Speakers include William S. Singer, partner at Singer & Fedun, LLC, Debra E. Guston, partner at Guston & Guston, LLP,  Nancy J. Knauer, I. Herman Stern Professor at Temple University and Carrington Mead.

  • LGBT Tax Law

    January 25th, 2012

    For the LGBT community, filing your annual taxes can be extremely stressful and full of questions. This year, the National LGBT Bar Association hosted two national call-ins to help answer questions LGBT individuals and families face when trying to file their taxes. Panelists included leading experts in LGBT tax law. Speakers include Kate FletcherPat CainDeb KinneyDeborah Wald and Paul Thorndal.

  • California Court Rules Proponents of Prop 8 Have Standing

    November 25th, 2011

    This 30-minute call addressed the future of Proposition 8 and what steps are needed to finalize decisions for either party. Speakers on the call included Kate Kendell, Executive Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights; David Codell, co-counsel in the California In re Marriage Casesand, Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Law at the University of  Pennsylvania Law School.

  • Unsafe Schools: Bullying/Harassment

    May 18th, 2011

    This call–in partnership with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network–invited legal professionals to speak about their experience on litigating cases involving LGBT youth that have been heavily harassed and bullyed in schools. Speakers also provided briefs used for litigation purposes for listeners to review and become better educated on the delicacy of these types of cases. Please use the links below to download both the recording as well as the briefs. Speakers include Alison Gill, Public Policy Manager at GLSEN, Samuel Wolfe, Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Paula Rosenstein, partner at Rosenstein, Wilson & Dean, Joni Thome, attorney at Halunen & Associates, andJohn Elliott Eichhorst, Deputy Attorney at the USDA Office of the General Counsel, Pacific Region.

  • Current Developments in the Implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act: Views from Capitol Hill and the SEC

    April 26th, 2011

    This live webinar will present an overview of current developments in the implementation of the recently passed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Dodd-Frank Act made sweeping changes in the regulation of financial products and services, including banking, securities, and commodities law, some of which are now targeted for repeal by the new 112th Congress. At the same time, regulators are facing a July 21, 2011, deadline for implementing key mandates of the legislation.In the midst of these developments, this webinar will feature commentary from one of the Act’s primary authors, Congressman Barney Frank, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee. Of particular interest to in-house and outside counsel to public companies, current and former SEC and FINRA staffers will discuss recent developments in the implementation of Dodd-Frank. Speakers include John Ramsey, Deputy Director, SEC Division of Trading and Markets; Brian V. Breheny, Corporate Partner, Skadden Arps, and former Deputy Director, SEC Division of Corporation Finance; Brian M. Castro, Chairman and founding member of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Financial Regulation & Reform Working Group, and former Senior Counsel, FINRA Department of Enforcement.

  • LGBT Tax Law Issues

    April 12th, 2011

    The restrictions imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have left the marital status of many same-sex couples in a state of confusion when it comes to life and financial planning. As the deadline for filing federal tax returns draws near, significant questions and disarray regarding tax filing requirements keep circulating on the list serve. The National LGBT Bar Association is pleased to host a national call-in that focuses on issues of tax law. The panelists will address significant questions and confusion regarding DOMA and tax filing status, Registered Domestic Partnership status, community property rules, and the lack of clarity and guidance as relates to tax payers in the LGBT community. Speakers include Patricia CainInez Mabie, Distinguished Professor of Law at Santa Clara Law and Katie D. Fletcher, past president of the National LGBT Bar Association.

  • DOMA, the Department of Justice, and Congress: A Conversation About the Road Ahead

    March 28th, 2011

    In a February 23, 2011 letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Obama Administration’s position that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and would no longer be defended in court by the federal government. Subsequently, Speaker Boehner announced his intent to have the House of Representatives step in to defend DOMA in court. Many questions remain. What exactly did the letter from Attorney General Holder mean?  How is that letter squared with the general presumption that the federal government will defend laws that remain on the books?  How does the letter fit within the context of historic examples of exceptions to the duty to defend? What is the difference between the federal government’s duty to defend laws and its duty to enforce laws while litigation is pending? What is the process going forward for the various pending cases? What are the ramifications of the government’s views on heightened scrutiny for classifications involving sexual orientation? Two legal scholars with extensive federal government experience will discuss these and other issues, along with answering audience questions, on a national conference call. Speakers include Nan Hunter, /professor of Law and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at Georgetown Law, and Peter Shane, professor at Moritz  College of Law at Ohio State University.

  • LGBT Immigration & Asylum Seekers

    March 16th, 2011

    For decades, immigrants have requested asylum by the United States from their home countries due to political strife, economic hardship, or social injustice. With regards to LGBT individuals in many communities abroad it is mortally dangerous to be open with their lifestyle therefore political asylum is critical. Speakers include Justin Connor, whose partner recently won his own asylum case, Victoria Neilson, Legal Director at Immigration Equality, Scott Titshaw, professor at Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, and Chad Ellsworth.

  • The Future of DOMA

    February 24th, 2011

    The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 during the Clinton Administration. Under this law, states were not required to recognize same-sex marriage. Also, in Section 3 of the act, a marriage would be federally defined as a union between a man and a woman. Since the act was signed into law, it has been under scrutiny by the LGBT community. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has worked strongly against DOMA since its inception, and in 2009 filed a Federal Court lawsuit against the constitutionality of the act under the equal protection clause. Speaker is Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

  • What Hath the North Carolina Supreme Court Wrought?

    February 3rd, 2011

    In a recent decision, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples cannot jointly adopt.  By its ruling, the court has seriously placed in jeopardy all previously granted second parent adoptions.  What are the ramifications of this decision for same-sex families in North Carolina?  What is the status of the law in other jurisdictions?  What can lawyers do to stop a similar decision in their own states?  What legal theories, apart from adoption, can attorneys use to protect same-sex families? Speakers include Joyce Kauffman, former co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Nancy D. Polikoff, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law and the author of Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the LawAbby Rubenfeld, who has sat on the board of directors for the ACLU of Tennessee, the Human Rights Campaign and the Legal Director of Lamda Legal, William S. Singer, partner at Singer & Fedun, LLC,  Christine Sun, Senior Counsel for the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. and Sharon A. Thompson, founder of the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys.

  • Cutting Edge Issues in LGBT Adoption and Parentage

    December 16th, 2010

    Due to advanced reproductive technologies, families are springing into existence in ways the U.S. legal system never envisioned. LGBT families are a part of this cresting wave in American jurisprudence. What makes a parent — biology or consent? What makes a family — form or function? From birth certificates to custody, from surrogacy to adoption bans, our distinguished panel of experts will discuss the cutting edge legal, legislative, and practical issues involving our nation’s LGBT families. Speakers include Joyce Kauffman, former co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and former chair of MLGBA’s Family Law Section, Courtney Joslin, Acting Professor at UC Davis School of Law, Elizabeth F. Schwartz, AV Rated attorney, whose practice emphasizes representation of the LGBT community in family formation, William S. Singer, partner in Singer & Fedun, LLC,  Deborah H. Wald, founder and senior partner at the Wald Law Group and Michele Zavos, principal in the Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC.

  • Post-Election National Conference Call

    November 4th, 2010

    From the fate of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to anti-bullying legislation efforts and the makeup of the federal judiciary, the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections are certain to have a major impact on the lives of LGBT Americans and their families over the next several years. What new challenges and opportunities will the new landscape of Capitol Hill, state legislatures, and court houses provide for the LGBT equality movement? Speakers include Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Cyberbullying of LGBT Students

    October 20th, 2010

    In the wake of the recent tragic string of teen suicides linked to anti-LGBT bullying, there is an intense scrutiny of the role the internet and online social networking played in these deaths. As parents, school administrators, and politicians are left to wonder what can be done to curb peer-to-peer harassment of LGBT-identified and gender nonconforming students, the mental health of hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth across the country continues to be severely undermined by a bullying campaigns that extend far beyond the reach of the classroom. Speakers include Christian Dowell, Legal Director of Global Brand Protection at Yahoo! Inc., Alison Gill, Public Policy Associate with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Warren J. Blumenfeld, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University.

  • DOMA, DADT, and the Duty to Defend: A Conversation

    October 18th, 2010

    Many in the progressive community have noted the awkward situation faced by the federal government in litigation such as Log Cabin Republicans v. the United States (a constitutional challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) and Gill v. Office of Personnel Management (a constitutional challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act). In each case, the federal government has been called to defend (and has defended) in federal court a law for which President Obama has publicly expressed his disapproval. These federal court suits can serve as conversational vehicles to explore larger questions about the federal government’s duty to defend laws that remain on the books. Speakers include Walter E. Dellinger III, former U.S. Solicitor General, Nan Hunter, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Neil Kinkopf, Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. Co-sponsored with the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

  • Witt v. U.S. Dept. of the Air Force Call

    September 27th, 2010

    In 2004, just short of retirement, Major Margaret Witt was suspended after her commanders learned she was in a relationship with a civilian woman. The ACLU of Washington sued the U.S. Department of the Air Force, claiming that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and its application to Witt, violated her rights of liberty and equal protection. In 2006, Judge Leighton rejected these claims but was overruled by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008. The Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit, holding that substantive due process demanded a heightened level of scrutiny. While the decision left in place the military’s ban, the court found that before separating a servicemember from his or her post, the military must prove that the individual’s conduct actually hurt morale or jeopardized another government interest. Speakers include Jim Lobsenz, Principal in the Seattle office of Carney Badley Spellman, P.S., and Diane H. Mazur, Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

  • Perry v. Schwarzenegger Victory Call

    August 5th, 2010

    The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has struck down California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In 2008, “Prop. 8” amended the California State Constitution to prohibit the state from legally recognizing same-sex marriages performed on or after November 5, 2008. In today’s decision, Judge Vaughn Walker declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. Tomorrow, August 5th, the National LGBT Bar Association is hosting a national call-in to discuss the victory, including analysis of the decision and the probable appeal. The call will be led by Kate Kendell (Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights) and Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr. (John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School).

  • Perry v. Schwarzenegger Update Call

    February 1st, 2010

    In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, redefining marriage to be between one man and one woman. Two couples subsequently filed suit claiming it violated their right to be married. Shannon Minterlegal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and William Eskridge, John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, speak on what has happened in the case and what can be expected in the closing arguments.