GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)

aka GLAD   |   BOSTON, MA   |  http://www.glad.org

Mission

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Ruling year info

1980

Principal Officer

Mr. Janson Wu

Main address

18 Tremont St STE 950

BOSTON, MA 02108 USA

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Formerly known as

Park Square Advocates Inc.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

EIN

04-2660498

NTEE code info

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Founded in 1978, GLAD came into existence as a public interest law firm created to ensure that the LGBTQ community in New England could speak in its own voice in the courts about issues that concerned our community.
Today, we continue to employ strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education to press for social change, both in New England and nationally.
We work specifically to expand and defend the rights of vulnerable segments of our community, including youth and students, elders, people of color and indigenous people, immigrants, those in prison, and those who are economically disadvantaged. Our GLAD Answers service is a free service that is open to callers from New England and around the nation. GLAD works closely with national partners to provide litigation support, strategize, and file amicus briefs in cases around the country.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Civil Rights Project

Civil Rights Project (CRP): The CRP focuses on ending discrimination against LGBTQ people and families. The CRP's most significant victories include bringing marriage to all six New England states, filing the first cases to challenge the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and securing marriage equality for the country after arguing at the Supreme Court. The CRP advocates for full parental rights for non-biological LGBTQ parents and does legislative and policy work and education on the many ways LGBTQ couples form families, including in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. The CRP is researching the specific needs of LGBTQ elders. The CRP is also combating employment discrimination against same-sex married couples and is deeply engaged in work around religious exemptions.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
People with HIV/AIDS

The Transgender Rights Project (the TRP) focuses on ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The TRP uses impact litigation to ensure that protection from discrimination based on gender identity and expression is respected and enforced. The TRP also: 1) works on the local, state and national levels to challenge and eliminate the wide variety of insurance exclusions that inhibit health care access for transgender people; 2) works closely with administrative and regulatory offices to promote administrative regulations and/or guidance that assist transgender people in areas such as obtaining documents consistent with their gender and ensuring appropriate implementation of existing law; 3) works in coalition to pass transgender inclusive legislation on the state level; and 4) works on the federal level to pass federal legislation that will provide employment protections to LGBT people, as well as working on national policy issues that affect transgender people.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people

AIDS Law Project (ALP): The ALP fights discrimination based on HIV status, and for the privacy, health, and other rights of those living with HIV/AIDS. The ALP's largest current case challenges a large national long term care insurance company's refusal to cover an applicant taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to prevent contracting HIV. Disability antidiscrimination laws protect those who are treated adversely based on false beliefs about a health condition. We also argue that the insurance company's discriminatory action was based on the unfounded and biased assumption that gay male sexuality is inherently risky and unhealthy.

Population(s) Served
People with HIV/AIDS
LGBTQ people

GLAD's website, GLAD Answers - our free legal information and referral service, publications, and workshops ensure that individuals know their legal rights and how to assert them. Using print and online media, we tell the stories of LGBTQ people and how the law affects them. The department oversees GLAD's speaking opportunities and webinars. It recruits and trains approximately 40 volunteers each year to staff GLAD's information and referral service, GLAD Answers. It maintains a Lawyer Referral Service of more than 250 New England attorneys who understand the service needs of the LGBTQ and HIV-positive communities. Working with GLAD's legal team, it updates and distributes over 20 unique publications on the legal rights of LGBTQ and HIV-positive people in New England.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
People with HIV/AIDS

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Founded in 1978, GLAD came into existence as a public interest law firm created to ensure that the LGBTQ community in New England could speak in its own voice in the courts about issues that concerned our community. We sought to educate judges, lawyers, and the public about our lives and our need for legal protections. Today, we continue to employ strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education to press for social change, both in New England and nationally. As we live in a nation committed to the rule of law as the means of guaranteeing that all citizens are treated equally and with dignity, our goal is the same as the words etched over the U.S. Supreme Court building: equal justice under law. GLAD presses for change and expansion of rights under four main initiatives: the Civil Rights Project, the Transgender Rights Project, the AIDS Law Project, and the Youth Initiative. One of GLAD's experienced attorneys directs each project. GLAD comprises four departments - Legal, Public Affairs and Education, Development, and Finance and Operations. As impact litigators, our efforts and successes extend to all people burdened by the unfair policies, unconstitutional laws, and discriminatory practices that we challenge. While GLAD's target populations are the LGBTQ communities of New England and those people affected by HIV, the institutional reform and social change achieved by our work benefit hundreds of thousands of people in New England and beyond. We work specifically to expand and defend the rights of vulnerable segments of our community, including youth and students, elders, people of color and indigenous people, immigrants, those in prison, and those who are economically disadvantaged. Our GLAD Answers service is a free service that is open to callers from New England and around the nation. GLAD works closely with national partners to provide litigation support, strategize, and file amicus briefs in cases around the country.

GLAD employs strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education in making our world more just, inclusive, and affirming. We work toward a society in which our identities are simultaneously irrelevant to our opportunities in life and celebrated as part of the broader diversity of American society. What we are able to achieve first here in New England through impact litigation and first-of-their kind cases, such as second parent adoptions in the 1990s and marriage equality in the 2000s, sets the standard and creates the template for progress across the country. Our legal info line and connections to private law firms nationwide allows us to stay up-to-date on, and respond immediately to, the real legal issues LGBTQ people face every day. As such, GLAD is nationally recognized as being a leader in the LGBTQ movement. We are not only uniquely positioned to change law and policy, we are changing hearts and minds through a proven education strategy of one-to-one contact with key decision-makers and influencers, far-reaching media coordination, and community outreach efforts.

GLAD's legal team consists of nationally renowned experts on LGBTQ law. Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto is nationally acknowledged as the chief strategist of the marriage movement. She is also recognized as a movement leader around issues of parentage and family law. Jennifer Levi, the director of the Transgender Rights Project, is a nationally distinguished expert on transgender legal issues and has served as counsel in a number of precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people, including groundbreaking work on healthcare access issues and gender markers in identification documents. Bennett Klein, director of GLAD's AIDS Law Project, has litigated cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts establishing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and people living with HIV, including the successful argument before the Supreme Court in GLAD's 1998 Bragdon v. Abbott case that stated people with HIV can be protected from discrimination via the Americans with Disabilities Act. Janson Wu has served as GLAD's Executive Director since December 2014, following eight years as a staff attorney. During his time at GLAD, Janson has been deeply involved in the breadth of GLAD's work, including the rights of LGBT elders, family law and parentage, employment benefits, transgender rights, DOMA, and marriage equality. He served on the legal teams of many of GLAD's significant cases, including the DOMA challenges Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM, and the successful asylum case of Ugandan activist John Abdallah Wambere. In 2012, in the case In re Madelyn B, Janson successfully argued before New Hampshire's highest court that a non-biological lesbian mother should be recognized as a parent. Together, GLAD's small legal team brings more than 100 years of combined experience.

2020 updates:

March - GLAD filed Doe v. Esper, our third case and the first lawsuit since the ban went into effect. On May 14, the US Navy announced that it had granted a waiver to our client. This was the first waiver granted to a transgender service member under the transgender military ban, which has been in effect for more than a year and paves the way for other servicemembers to seek similar waivers of the policy. The Maine Juvenile Justice System Assessment & Reinvestment Task Force, which GLAD is a part of, began to focus on keeping the youth in Long Creek safe from COVID-19. After meeting with the task force and other stakeholders, the Maine Department of Corrections created reentry plans for many of the youth at Long Creek and expedited their release from the facility. These efforts resulted in a 43% decrease in Long Creek's detention population. We continue to lead and collaborate on initiatives for all of Long Creek detainees to be released.

April - GLAD was a founding member of the new Massachusetts Child Welfare COVID-19 Coalition, a group of lawyers, advocates, and child welfare experts fighting to ensure that MA Department of Children and Families (DCF) involved youth and their families are supported during the pandemic and beyond. A disproportionate number of these youth are LGBTQ. Some of the crucial issues that the coalition is addressing are: accurate data collection; restarting family visitation, which was halted at the start of COVID-19; proper access to education and technology for youth; stopping the closing of cases and providing more resources for aging out youth; addressing the disproportionately high rate of POC youth in the systems and being removed from the home; and addressing the overwhelming number of children that are DCF-involved that end up in correctional care.

June - our movement won a landmark victory at the US Supreme Court. The Court finally settled the longstanding question of whether federal sex discrimination employment law protects LGBTQ people, with a 6-3 ruling in our favor. GLAD helped author and organize a critical amicus brief by past solicitor generals from both Republican and Democratic administrations, arguing why a purely textualism-based approach required that the Court interpret Title VII to include LGBTQ protections.

July - We helped pass the Rhode Island Parentage Act (RIPA), which overhauls Rhode Island family law so that it protects all parent-child relationships, regardless of the circumstances of the child's birth.

October - GLAD and NCLR filed a new challenge to the transgender military ban on behalf of Michigan Army National Guard Specialist Blaire McIntyre. Specialist McIntrye has served as a dedicated and successful member of the Michigan Army National Guard since April 2015 and previously served in the Army, where she deployed to Afghanistan. She now faces discharge after disclosing her transgender status.

Financials

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)

Board of directors
as of 4/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Darian Butcher

Day Pitney LLP

Darian Butcher

Heifitz Rose, LLP

Joyce Kauffman

Kauffman Law & Mediation

Shane Dunn

Excel Academy Charter Schools

David Hayter

John Hancock

Ed Byrne

Project 10 East, Inc.

George-Henry Hastie

Hastie Consulting

Joe Garland

Rhode Island Hospital

Liz Doherty

Akamai

Lee Swislow

Facing Cancer Together

Marlene Seltzer

Retired

Jean-Phillip Brignol

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Ray Cheng

Deloitte Tax, LLP

Jessyca Feliciano

tate Street Corporation

Spencer Icasiano

HubSpot

Matthew McGuirk

Morgan Stanley

Rev. Irene Monroe

Boston Public Radio

Mario Nimock

Coughlin Betke LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data