Since 1978, GLAD has achieved scores of legal victories to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
In 1978, during a different hot, tumultuous summer, at the height of disco and in the wake of orange juice queen Anita Bryant’s national anti-gay crusade, GLAD was born.
That year, young Boston lawyer and GLAD founder John Ward knew that it was revolutionary for an organization to have the words “gay and lesbian” in its name, much less advocate for LGBTQ+ legal rights.
GLAD publishes the first national gay & lesbian legal directory in an effort to connect the gay and lesbian community with state-specific friendly attorneys, who can effectively represent them.
In an action designed to inform and protect the gay community when interacting with the police, GLAD begins producing and distributing Rights Cards.
Defending MA Gay Rights Bill
GLAD files an amicus brief responding to Massachusetts State Senate questions surrounding a proposed gay rights bill. MA Supreme Judicial Court rules that the term “sexual preference,” as used in the bill, is not constitutionally vague and the bill again goes before the legislature.
Beginning Work with National Sodomy Law Project
GLAD joins a collaborative effort, with other gay and lesbian legal organizations and ACLU chapters, to challenge state sodomy laws still in existence across the country.
Creating the AIDS Law Project
In response to complaints from several sources in the community alleging discrimination in the treatment of gay men at a Boston hospital, GLAD launches the project to protect the rights of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The Best Interest of Children
In Babets v. Johnston, GLAD sues to allow gay and lesbian people to be foster parents in MA.