Unprecedented Past. Unstoppable Future.
For 50 years, Lambda Legal has represented unprecedented legal victories and a vision of equality for LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV.
Celebrate with Us
Throughout 2023, we will mark this milestone and gather with our communities of supporters across the country. Join us!
Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 11:00am PDT
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Palm Springs. Join us for this special event at the Cathedral City home of David Mizener & Arturo Carrillo.Register
Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 5:00pm EDT
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Fort Lauderdale. Please join Lambda Legal for our annual gathering of supporters from across South Florida’s LGBTQ+ and allied communityTickets & Sponorships
Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 5:30pm MDT
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Arizona. Join us for this special event at the Scottsdale home of Brad Howell & William R. AulwesTickets + Sponsorships
Friday, May 19, 2023 at 6:30pm CDT
The Art Institute of Chicago
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Chicago.Tickets & Sponsorships
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 5:30pm PDT
The Pearl | San Francisco, CA
Celebrate 50 Years with us in San Francisco.Tickets & Sponsorships
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Houston.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 6:00pm EDT
Celebrate 50 Years with us in New York City. Join us for Lambda Legal's premier event in the city where we were founded 50 years ago.Tickets & Sponsorships
Thursday, August 3, 2023
Private Home, Seattle, WA
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Seattle.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorship
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Dallas.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
Friday, September 8, 2023
Indiana State Museum
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Indy.Coming soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Los Angeles, California
Celebrate 50 Years with us in L.A.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Celebrate 50 Years with us in Atlanta.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Celebrate 50 Years with us in D.C.Coming Soon! Tickets & Sponsorships
In 1973, Bill Thom founded Lambda Legal with only $25 in the bank and the organization’s name taped to his apartment mailbox with a Band-Aid. The goal was to focus on litigation first, and education second. Nearly fifty years later, Lambda Legal has done just that, taking on cases that address marriage equality, youth in schools, LGBTQ+ families, and workplace discrimination while creating education campaigns around HIV stigma, transgender sports bans and access to health care. Take a look.
In Re Thom
Our first case, filed on our own behalf, forces the state of New York to allow Lambda Legal to form as a nonprofit organization. Basing our Articles of Incorporation on those of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund (PRLDEF), Atty. Bill Thom founds Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, officially authorized to practice law on October 18, 1973.
People v. West 12 Tenants Corp.
Working with the New York Attorney General’s office, Lambda Legal files the nation’s first AIDS-discrimination challenge and wins a court order stopping the efforts of neighbors to evict a doctor because he treated HIV-positive patients.
Lambda Legal’s First Regional Office
Lambda Legal opens its first regional office, the Western Regional Office in Los Angeles.
Henkle v. Gregory
Lambda Legal's school harassment case establishes that LGBT students have a First Amendment right to be "out" at school.
Lawrence v. Texas
Lambda Legal wins landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Lawrence v. Texas, which strikes down the nation's remaining state sodomy laws and affirms the constitutional liberty to engage in private, consensual sexual intimacy without government interference.
Taylor v. Rice
Two weeks before trial, the State Department lifts its ban on hiring people with HIV as Foreign Service Officers, ending Lambda Legal’s five-year case challenging this discriminatory policy.
Glenn v. Brumby
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds ruling that the firing of Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who worked for the Georgia General Assembly, was unconstitutional-- the most important ruling in federal court to date supporting the rights of transgender employees.
Obergefell v. Hodges
In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declares that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violates the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s decision invalidates all state statutes and constitutional amendments barring same-sex couples from marriage. Lambda Legal was co-counsel in one of the landmark cases.
Bostock v. Clayton County, GA
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision approving the analysis Lambda Legal has been advancing for fifteen years that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is sex discrimination, and violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law, which often is referred to as “Title VII,” prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.
Ely v. Saul
A lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband, who died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. The Social Security Administration withdraws its appeal, securing the victory for all surviving same-sex spouses across the country who were barred from being married for at least nine months by discriminatory marriage bans.
For 50 years, Lambda Legal has worked to address the highest priority needs for members of the LGBTQ+ community and those living with HIV.
As we push forward, Lambda Legal will continue to serve as a firewall against the escalating attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV, and continue to chart the course to a world where our identities and relationships are respected, protected, and celebrated. We will continue to do so through:
Impact litigation designed to expand protections and defend the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV
Education programs to expand awareness and build coalitions of support for our communities
Public policy advocacy to challenge anti-LGBTQ+ bias and create new protections in our legal system