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GLAD Marks 40 Years of Fighting for LGBTQ Rights

A history of change. A passion for justice. A vision for the future.

Four decades after dozens of men were arrested in an anti-gay sex sting at the Boston Public Library, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders is marking its 1978 founding by continuing its fight for the rights of LGBTQ people and envisioning a just future for all Americans.

“This anniversary is not only about our past, but also about our present and our future,” said GLAD Executive Director Janson Wu. “We bring to our current work and to this pivotal moment in our nation’s history all the lessons we have learned about building community, devising smart legal strategy, and working with diligence and passion.

“We are facing profound attacks, not only in our LGBTQ community but across all marginalized communities. But we have faced attacks and challenges before. Our past victories show that we know how to fight, and we know how to win. We will never stop striving toward a future that realizes our Constitution’s promise of equality and justice for all.”

Through the end of 2018, the GLAD community will reflect on its role in laying the legal foundation to advance transgender rights, strengthen LGBTQ family law, establish protections for people living with HIV, advocate for LGBTQ youth, and more. Celebrations include the July 28 Provincetown Summer Party and the October 12 Spirit of Justice Award Dinner.

GLAD attorneys have argued three Supreme Court cases, including the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 (Mary L. Bonauto), and the precedent-setting Bragdon v. Abbott in 1997 (Bennett Klein), establishing protections for people living with HIV under the Americans with Disabilities Act. GLAD’s founder John Ward became the first openly gay attorney to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1995 case Hurley v. GLIB. The organization is currently leading the challenge to President Trump’s transgender military ban in two cases, Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump.

Among other commemorations, GLAD will re-release the twelve historical podcasts created for its 30th anniversary, and produce additional material reflecting the events of the past decade.

Visit the organization’s interactive timeline to learn more about GLAD’s groundbreaking work advancing LGBTQ equality.

Tickets for the Summer Party and for the Spirit of Justice dinner are available at www.glad.org/events.

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