Week after week, Lambda Legal works tirelessly to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and everyone living with HIV. And our unwavering commitment to our community has not gone unnoticed.
In fact, in just the last two months, our legal experts and staff have been featured in more than 100 published articles, and in media outlets like Texas Public Radio, The Hill, Kansas City Star, The Advocate, PBS Newshour, Gay City News, and the New York Times.
Much of the coverage focused on our continued fight to get young Texans access to the gender-affirming care they deserve, our work in securing the right for trans Kansans to correct the gender markers on their birth certificate, and the exciting, much-needed victory in our battle against Idaho’s discriminatory bathroom ban.
These media hits help amplify Lambda Legal’s vital work and mission. More importantly, they highlight the humanity and courage of our clients and the oft-forgotten communities they represent.
Scroll below for a handpicked list of media hits:
(Texas Public Radio, Aug. 31)
Earlier this summer, Lambda Legal filed Loe v. Texas, a lawsuit challenging the state’s heinous Senate Bill 14 signed by Governor Greg Abbott. The bill prevents transgender youth in Texas from receiving gender-affirming medical care.
A district judge agreed with the lawsuit, and temporarily blocked SB 14 from moving forward. However, just hours later, the state’s Attorney General appealed that ruling to the Texas Supreme Court, who ultimately decided to allow SB 14 to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
Paul D. Castillo, Lambda Legal senior counsel, condemned the law. “The defendants are actively ignoring the science, dismissing best-practice medical care, intervening in a parent’s right to care for and love their child, and explicitly exposing trans youth in Texas to rampant discrimination.”
Lambda Legal also issued a larger statement in response to the Texas Supreme Court decision:
“The fight is far from over. In its ruling, the district court clearly articulated the ways in which S.B. 14 likely violates the Texas Constitution by infringing upon the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, infringing upon Texas physicians’ right of occupational freedom, and discriminating against transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria because of their sex, sex stereotypes, and transgender status,” the statement reads. “We couldn’t agree more, and look forward to continuing this fight.”
(Idaho Education News, Aug. 21)
Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit in early July to block Idaho Senate Bill 1100, a discriminatory bathroom ban that targets transgender students. Roe v. Critchfield was lodged against the State Superintendent of Education, Debbie Critchfield, and other state school officials on behalf of a transgender student and an LGBTQ+ high school student organization.
Specifically, SB 1100 would impose a sweeping statewide mandate that schools — public and charter K-12 — must exclude transgender students from multi-user restrooms and other school facilities matching their gender identity, based on a legislative definition of “sex” as limited to chromosomes and reproductive anatomy.
To magnify the law’s chilling effect, it would also allow any student to recover a minimum of $5,000 for each instance where they encounter a transgender person using a facility barred by the law.
On Aug. 10, 2023, just in time for the new school year, U.S. District Court Judge David Nye issued a temporary restraining order against SB 1100 and the enforcement of its statewide mandate — at least until further ruling from the court.
Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Peter Renn applauded Judge Nye’s decision in a statement. “The court’s ruling will be a relief for transgender students in Idaho, who are entitled to basic dignity, safety, and respect at school.”
“When school is back in session, they should be focusing on classes, friends, and activities like everyone else, rather than worrying about where they are allowed to use the restroom,” Renn added. “No one’s return to school should be met with a return to discrimination.”
(Kansas City Star, Aug. 24)
In late July, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit to prevent the implementation of discriminatory Missouri Senate Bill 49, which prohibits transgender adolescents in the state from accessing gender-affirming medical care. Noe v. Parson was submitted on behalf of three families of transgender youth, medical providers, and the organizations PFLAG National and GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality with additional legal assistance from the ACLU of Missouri and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
In a callous decision, Judge Steven Ohmer of the St. Louis Circuit Court refused to grant the preliminary injunction, and SB 49 was allowed to take effect on Aug. 28, 2023. Thousands of transgender young people in Missouri are now at risk.
The legal team representing the Noe plaintiffs issued a joint statement in response to Judge Ohmer’s order. “SB 49 is not about improving patient care in Missouri; it is about preventing people from being transgender. The law is rooted in discrimination as it would deny evidence-based, necessary, and often lifesaving medical care to transgender people while a non-transgender person to obtain the same treatment.”
The team also vowed to keep on fighting. “While we are disappointed in and disagree with the court’s ruling, we will not stop fighting to protect the rights of transgender people in Missouri,” the statement read. “The case is not over and will go to a full trial on the merits.”
(The Advocate, Sept. 1)
In a cruel filing this past June, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach called for the nullification of a 2019 consent judgment that secured the right for transgender Kansans to correct the gender markers on their birth certificates.
The pivotal consent judgment was a result of Lambda Legal’s victory in Foster v. Andersen (now known as Foster v. Stanek), a federal case that challenged the state’s discriminatory birth certificate policy and was brought forth on behalf of four transgender Kansas residents.
On Aug. 31, 2023, a federal judge unfortunately sided with Kobach and officially granted his request to vacate parts of the consent judgment.
Lambda Legal’s Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, who served as the lead attorney in Foster v. Andersen, lamented the news. “We are disappointed that the court saw fit to reopen the consent judgment, which has been in place for four years and operated without incident.”
“Access to accurate identity documents is vital; without accurate identity documents, transgender people face even greater threats of discrimination, harassment, and even violence,” added Gonzalez-Pagan.
“We will evaluate next steps to determine how best to continue to secure the right of transgender Kansans to have identity documents consistent with who they are.”
Check out more of our blogs here, including recent pieces on Banned Books Week, Latinx Heritage Month, and Bisexual+ Awareness Week.