Meet Lambda Legal Attorneys at Lavender Law 2015

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August 5, 2015

If you're attending the National LGBT Bar Assocation's 2015 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair this week, join Lambda Legal at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

Lambda Legal staff and board member names are bolded.

Wednesday, 8/5/15


Marriage 2015
Location: Salons I/II
By the time our annual conference rolls around, we will have a Supreme Court decision that may settle the issue of marriage equality. The issues presented for the Court are whether states must allow same-sex marriage and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of their jurisdiction. Speakers from all the major cases, including NCLR, GLAD, Lambda Legal, and the ALCU will discuss this potentially landmark ruling. They will analyze the Supreme Court’s decision, its possible implications for the rights of LGBT as well as religious persons, and the agenda priorities our movement ought to consider as it moves forward. Speakers: Mary Bonauto, William Eskridge, James Esseks, Shannon Minter, Carole Stanyar, Camilla Taylor.


Justice at Risk: How the Politics of Judicial Elections are Impacting the LGBT Community and What We Can Do About It
Location: Great America I/II [CLE Ethics Credit Applicable for this Workshop]
This panel will examine how the LGBT community is impacted by the increasing prominent role that politics and special interest money play in state judicial elections. Speakers will assess how cases involving LGBT equality are being used as a means to attack the courts through jurisdiction-stripping legislation, calls for impeachment, recusal motions, and anti-LGBT rhetoric from judges themselves. The panel will explore the benefits of moving away from judicial elections and towards a merit-based system of judicial appointment. Speakers will also discuss ethical conduct under state ethical codes after the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams-Yulee v Florida Bar. Speakers: Debra Erenberg, Eric Lesh, Jim Reed.

Thursday, 8/6/15


Religious Freedom or a License to Discriminate?
Location: Salons I/II
The Annual Conference has been featuring these so-called “religious freedom restoration act” laws since at least Lavender Law 2011 – Los Angeles.  Last year, RFRA’s became headline grabbing news as Arizona’s mega-RFRA bill was beaten back with high-profile help from local business leaders and national corporations.  No such intensity was forth-coming in Mississippi and the anti-LGBT law easily passed.  When this issued moved onto Arkansas and Indiana this year, a diversity of national voices began to swell in opposition and even more people took notice.  Do these anti-LGBT laws exist despite of or because of historic gains on marriage equality?   We will also address pending cases involving “religious freedom” claims under state and federal law, along with a prediction on when we will see this matter next rise to the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. Speakers: Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor Dale Carpenter, Louise Melling, Professor Douglas NeJaime, Jenny Pizer.


The Affordable Care Act and HIV: How Ensuring Access to Nondiscriminatory Care, Treatment, and Prevention – Including PrEP – Could Pave the Way to an AIDS-Free Generation
Location: Belmont
This workshop will discuss issues at the cutting edge of HIV treatment and prevention – issues that remain critical to the LGBTQ community, particularly gay and bisexual men and transgender women and men. Breakthroughs in drug treatments are giving people living with HIV longer and more productive lives, and hold the promise of dramatic reductions in new infections in our community. The workshop will address these promises, and efforts to combat the continuing stigma and discrimination that impede their realization. Specifically, we plan to discuss the following:

  • Continuing discrimination against people with HIV by health care providers, and the continuing efforts of the Department of Justice, Lambda Legal, and others to combat that discrimination.
  • The expanded access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and the challenges to full implementation of the ACA posed by insurance company efforts to design health plans to discourage people with HIV from enrolling, and by the continuing legal challenges to the ACA mounted by its opponents.
  • The promise of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP to reduce new HIV infections in gay and bisexual men and transgender women and men, and the novel legal questions raised about access, potential discrimination by health care providers, and providing PrEP to GBTQ youth.
  • The growing epidemic of Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV co-infection, the promise of new drug treatments for HCV, and issues of insurance coverage.

Speakers: Daniel Bruner, Dylan de Kervor, Allison Rice, Scott A. Schoettes.


Don’t I Have a Right to Know? Examining the Criminal Law as a Means of Preventing HIV Transmission
Location: Armitage
Thirty- four states and two U.S. territories have laws that explicitly criminalize potential or perceived HIV exposure and alleged nondisclosure.  More than 500 people have been charged or convicted under the laws, and many have received draconian sentences for behaviors that pose little to no risk of HIV transmission. At this workshop, panelists will explore the (in)efficacy of a penal approach to a public/sexual health issue; the changing realities of HIV and the legal system’s failure to keep pace; collaborations across social justice movements; and current efforts to reform these laws at the state and federal levels, including within the military. Speakers: Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, John Knight, Ayako Miyashita, Ari Waldman, Kyle Palazzolo.


Using Policy Advocacy and Litigation to Advance Affordable and Welcoming Housing and other Inputs to Successful Aging for Older LGBT Adults
Location: Northwestern/Ohio State
LGBT older adults still face numerous barriers to successful aging – challenges that won’t dissipate and won’t be solved even with marriage. Facing more pronounced social isolation than their heterosexual and cis-gender counterparts, higher rates of poverty, and a lack of access to culturally competent healthcare, we have an obligation to help those who help paved the way for today’s civil rights victories…. Whether it’s through policy advocacy or litigation, we have the tools to advocate on behalf of LGBT older adults. As a case-in-point, we’ll explore housing. What challenges do LGBT older adults themselves face with respect to housing? What legal and policy challenges do we face? We’ll explore how we can use policy and litigation to create more elcoming and affordable housing – a challenge that has risen to prominence in recent years. Speakers: Karen Loewy, Hon. Mark Scurti, Aaron Tax, Richard C. Milstein, Larry Chanen.

Friday, 8/7/15


Transgender Law Symposium
Location: Jenner & Block, 353 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654
The Symposium will be a day-long event with panels on cutting-edge legal issues and featuring leading attorneys in the field who are bringing the cases and enacting the laws and policies that make a difference for the trans community. Speakers: Ashe McGovern, Amy Nelson, Elliot Kennedy, Noah Lewis, Ezra Young, Alison Gill, Jenny Pizer, Arli Christian, Shannon Minter, Sasha Buchert, Demoya Gordon, Harper Jean Tobin, Carmina Ocampo, Owen-Daniel McCarter, Flor Bermudez, Jillian T. Weiss, Matt Wood, Jacob Richards, Chinyere Ezie.