National Center for Lesbian Rights

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National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Lesbian Rights logo.png
Founded 1977
Founder Donna Hitchens
Focus Civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families
Method Litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education
Key people
Kate Kendell (Executive Director)
Shannon Minter (Legal Director)

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national non-profit, public interest law firm that advocates for equitable public policies affecting the LGBT community, provides free legal assistance to LGBT clients and their legal advocates, and conducts community education on LGBT legal issues.[1][2] It is headquartered in San Francisco with a regional office in Washington, DC.[3][4] It is the only organization in the United States dedicated to lesbian legal issues,[5] and the largest national lesbian organization in terms of members.[6]

Through impact litigation, public policy advocacy, public education, collaboration with other social justice organizations and activists, and direct legal services, the NCLR advances the legal and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their families across the United States.

NCLR was founded in 1977 by lesbian activists Donna Hitchens and other members of Equal Rights Advocates. Roberta Achtenberg later served as the second Executive Director. The organization was originally called the Lesbian Rights Project.[3][7] Notable cases in which the firm has been a primary counsel include In re Marriage Cases,[8][9] Strauss v. Horton,[10][11] and Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.[12][13]

The NCLR provides legal information to individuals with legal questions related to their sexual orientation or gender identity through NCLR's legal information hotline.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "For gay rights movement, a key setback", New York Times.
  2. ^ "Calif. Marriage Law Found Unconstitutional" The Associated Press and Fox News.
  3. ^ a b Rostow, Anne (June 7, 2005). "NCLR earns its stripes". The Advocate. 
  4. ^ "Same-Sex Couples Ask California Supreme Court to Strike Down Marriage Ban: California Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on March 4" Joint Pree Release with NCLR
  5. ^ Zimmerman, Bonnie (2000). Lesbian histories and cultures: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 219. 
  6. ^ Van Gelder, Lindsy; Pamela Robin Brandt (1997). The Girls Next Door. Simon & Schuster. p. 38. 
  7. ^ Newton, David E. (2009). Gay and lesbian rights: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 229. 
  8. ^ "In re Marriage Cases — Case Home". Case Docket. NCLR. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  9. ^ "California ban on same-sex marriage struck down". CNN. May 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "About the Prop 8 Legal Challenge". Case Docket. NCLR. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  11. ^ Strauss v. Horton, Cal. 4th 364 (Cal. May 26, 2009).
  12. ^ "Christian Legal Society v. Kane". Case Docket. NCLR. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  13. ^ Barnes, Robert (April 18, 2010). "Supreme Court to consider case against California law school". Washington Post. 

External links[edit]