The National Center for Lesbian Rights Congratulates Attorney Paul M. Smith, Who Will Be Honored with the Thurgood Marshall Award

July 29, 2010

A Statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

The National Center for Lesbian Rights extends our warmest congratulations and appreciation to attorney Paul M. Smith, who will receive the 2010 Thurgood Marshall Award the most prestigious civil rights honor in the nation at the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Aug. 7 in San Francisco.

Smith, a partner in the litigation department at Jenner & Block LLP and co-chair of Lambda Legal’s Board of Directors, has an impressive track record of successfully arguing before the United States Supreme Court, and worked alongside NCLR in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the recent victory affirming that public universities can require officially recognized and funded student groups to comply with non-discrimination policies. Smith also argued the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas, which held that every adult has a protected constitutional right to enter into an intimate relationship with the person of his choosing.

Established by the American Bar Association and the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities in 1992, the Thurgood Marshall Award is named after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who epitomized individual commitment, in word and action, to the cause of civil rights in this country. Previous winners include former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“Few people are worthier of this honor than Paul, whose profound commitment to advancing civil liberties has made him a legal force to be reckoned with, and a role model and leader within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “He has stood beside us, and fought for us, and more importantly, we know that with him by our side, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

NCLR is a proud sponsor of the 2010 Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner. Purchase tickets online.

Kate Kendell at Netroots Nation: Civil Rights in the Modern Era

July 29, 2010

Netroots Nation panel featuring National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, writer and activist Tim Wise, and Hip-Hop Caucus President Rev. Lennox Yearwood. Open Left’s Mike Lux moderated.

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Hawaii Lawsuit Seeks Equal Rights for Gay Couples

July 29, 2010

by Mark Niesse | Associated Press

Six gay couples in Hawaii are filing a lawsuit Thursday asking for the same rights as married couples, three weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a same-sex civil unions measure.

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An End to Gay Adoption Bans?

July 28, 2010

by Lisa Belkin | New York Times

Data drives policy. Or, at least, it should. In recent months there have been several studies suggesting that children raised by same-sex couples are certainly no worse off (and in some ways are arguably better off) than children raised by heterosexual couples.

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Awaiting a Full Embrace of Same-Sex Weddings

July 28, 2010

by Dan Levin | New York Times

It was another picture-perfect wedding at the foot of Table Mountain, recalled the Rev. Daniel Brits. Inside the chapel, a female vocalist sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” before he led the nervous couple through their vows surrounded by family and friends a few weeks ago.

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Join a Call for LGBT Family Immigration Rights

July 27, 2010

Please join NCLR and our friends at Immigration Equality for a teleconference call to learn about what you can do to help include LGBT families in comprehensive immigration reform.

Join Karen Narasaki of the Asian American Justice Center and Rachel Tiven of Immigration Equality Action Fund to discuss simple ways for you to help pass inclusive immigration reform. Other featured speakers include Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Bishop Minerva Carcaño, and families impacted by our broken immigration system.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010; 8:00 p.m. Eastern/ 5:00 p.m. Pacific
Call in 1-800-896-0105, Passcode 6946500#
To register and receive materials for the call go to

The call is free and open to all. You’ll hear updates on inclusive family immigration bills moving through Congress now. And, you’ll learn all you need to know to set up a successful meeting with your Representative.

Have questions? To submit questions for our speakers before or during the call, please email

Together we can make sure that comprehensive immigration reform includes all families.
In solidarity,

University of Virginia Study: Adoptive Children of Lesbian and Gay Couples Developing Well

July 26, 2010

from The News Leader

Should the sexual orientation of prospective adoptive parents be considered when placing children in adoptive homes?

According to the results of a new University of Virginia study, the answer may be “no.”

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