Bennett Klein, Esq.
Senior Attorney and AIDS Law Project Director
Ben Klein is a Senior Attorney and has been the AIDS Law Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) since 1994. Ben has litigated cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts establishing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and people living with HIV.
Ben was lead counsel in Bragdon v. Abbott, a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established protection against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act for all people with HIV. In Massachusetts, Ben won a decision before the Division of Medical Assistance Board of Appeals in 2001 ensuring equal access to liver transplants for HIV-positive individuals under the Commonwealth's MassHealth program. In 2008, he argued before the Connecticut Supreme Court in Kerrigan & Mock v. Department of Public Health, which struck down the state exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage as unconstitutional. He has also been co-counsel in numerous cases involving the rights of transgender persons, including O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a U.S. Tax court decision ruling that gender reassignment surgery is “medical care” for the purpose of tax deductions, and Doe v. Clenchy, a Maine case that is the first high court decision in the country establishing the right of transgender students to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
He is a 1982 graduate of Oberlin College and a 1987 graduate of Boston University School of Law. Prior to joining GLAD, Ben was a litigation associate at the Boston law firms of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong (1990 - 1994) and Gaston & Snow (1987 - 1990). He has been involved in several Boston-area community organizations, including as a “buddy” for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, a Board member of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and a founding member of the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth (BAGLY).