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In BriefLambda Legal | Making the Case for Equality
Insight for the Legal Community July 26, 2012   Join us on:  Facebook.  Twitter.  YouTube
When the News Reporter Calls
Kenneth D. Upton, Jr.
Supervising Senior Staff Attorney

Four years ago, a young man who worked for a neighboring Texas county government was fired because one of the county commissioners learned he is a gay man. As frequently happens, reporters from various news media outlets called me for a comment on the firing. Without exception, at some point in the conversations, each one made the comment that they knew there were no employment protections for discrimination against lesbians and gay men in Texas. And each time, I corrected them by saying, "That's not true. Why do you say that?"

Since that time I have looked for a case that can serve to educate the community about an important point of employment law that frequently goes unnoticed: Public employers (federal and state governments, counties and cities, public schools and hospitals) do not get to play by the same rules as private employers. The U.S. Constitution holds them to a higher standard when it comes to treating their employees fairly. Read More »

Featured Briefs and Decisions

Golinski v. OPM
Lambda Legal's challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Read amici briefs and the Justice Department's petition for writ of certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gill v. Devlin and Howell
Lambda Legal's federal discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a lesbian college professor. Read complaint and decision.

Rhoades v. Iowa
Lambda Legal represents an HIV-positive man who was sentenced to 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender after a one-time sexual encounter in which he used a condom. read brief »

Ithaca City School District v. N.Y. State Division of Human Rights
The N.Y. Court of Appeals ruled that the state's Human Rights Law does not protect students against harassment and discrimination in public schools. read opinion »

People v. Plunkett
Case involving a man who bit a police officer and was charged with aggravated assault based on an allegation that his saliva constituted a "dangerous instrument" because he has HIV—the high court rejected the charge. read decision »

Buntemeyer v. Iowa Dept. of Public Health
Lambda Legal's case in which a married same-sex couple gave birth to a stillborn baby and was issued a death certificate with one of the mothers' names erased. read brief »

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