Kate Kendell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Portrait of Kate Kendell

Kate Kendell (born Kathryn Dean Kendell, April 15, 1960) is the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR),[1] a national legal organization that fights for the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Through direct litigation and advocacy, NCLR works to change discriminatory laws and to create new laws and policies protecting the LGBT community.


Kendell has been with NCLR since 1994, when she joined the organization as its Legal Director. Two years later, she was named Executive Director.

Kendell grew up as a Latter-day Saint in Utah.[2][3] After receiving her J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988 and a few years practicing corporate law, she pursued her real love—civil rights advocacy—and became the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. There she directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, free speech, the rights of LGBT people, and the intersection of church and state.[4]

During her leadership, the issues facing the LGBT community—from homophobia in sports to immigration policy—have taken center stage in the United States’ discussion of LGBT civil rights issues.[5] Kendell is a nationally recognized spokesperson for LGBT rights and has an active voice in major media, including The New York Times,[6] The Wall Street Journal,[7] The Advocate,[8] NPR,[9] CNN,[10] and many others. Despite the national success of NCLR under her tenure, her most rewarding responsibilities still include fostering alliances on the community and organizational levels, and advocating from a grass-roots perspective on issues concerning social justice.[11][12] She is also known for her inspiring and motivating keynote speeches at NCLR's annual Anniversary Celebration[13] events and at events across the country.[14]


On March 23, 2010, Kendell was named a "woman who could be president" by the League of Women Voters of San Francisco at their annual “Women Who Could Be President” gala.[15] On October 13, 2009, Kendell was named a hero of National GLBT History Month.[16] In 2004, she was named one of California's Top 100 Attorneys[17] and also won the Del Martin/Phyllis Lyon Marriage Equality Award at Equality California’s 2004 San Francisco Equality Awards.[18] In 2002, she won the National LGBT Bar Association’s Dan Bradley Award.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Kendell and her spouse, Sandy Holmes, were legally married in San Francisco in 2008,[20] and live in San Francisco with their son, Julian,[21] and daughter, Ariana. Their family includes Kate's daughter Emily.[5]


  1. ^ "NCLR: The audacity to fight for justice. The perseverance to win". Nclrights.org. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.sltrib.com (July 31, 2009). "Utah News – Salt Lake City News, Sports, Entertainment, Business – The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kate Kendell and the National Center for Lesbian Rights". Lesbianlife.about.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Kate Kendell Interview Page 2". Lesbianlife.about.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b The Advocate – Google Books. Google Books. June 7, 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Toward a More Perfect Union – New York Times". The New York Times. May 9, 2004. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jones, Ashby (February 8, 2010). "Prop. 8 Judge is Reportedly Gay: What to Make of That? – Law Blog – WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ Weisberg, Julie. "Supreme Beings | \". The Advocate. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ The Bryant Park Project (May 16, 2008). "California Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban". NPR. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ "CNN.com – Transcripts". CNN. October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ [1] Archived May 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ [2] Archived August 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "NCLR: get involved > 2010 anniversary celebration > home". Nclrights.org. May 21, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ "NCLR: get involved > events". Nclrights.org. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Women Who Could Be President | San Francisco Luxury Living". Sfluxe.com. March 24, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Kate Kendell | LGBTHistoryMonth.com". Glbthistorymonth.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ "NCLR: press center > 2004 > press release". Nclrights.org. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Equal Marriage For Same-Sex Couples | Advocacy News | 2004 San Francisco Equality Awards". Samesexmarriage.ca. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Dan Bradley Award Winners". Lgbtbar. September 8, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Kate Kendell Interview – National Center for Lesbian Rights – Kate Kendell". Lesbianlife.about.com. August 10, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "One Birthday, One Reception and Some Very Hard Work « NCLR Blog: Out for Justice". Nclrights.wordpress.com. June 30, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]