Shannon Minter, Esq.
Shannon Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Minter was lead counsel for same-sex couples in the landmark California marriage equality case which held that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry and that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation are inherently discriminatory and subject to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny.
Minter was also NCLR’s lead attorney in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding student group policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and rejecting the argument that such policies violated a student group’s rights to freedom of speech, religion, and association. NCLR represented Hastings Outlaw, an LGBTQ student group who intervened to help defend the nondiscrimination policy.
In 2009, Minter was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer. In 2008, he was named among six Lawyers of the Year by Lawyers USA and among California’s Top 100 Lawyers by the legal publication The Daily Journal. He also received the 2008 Dan Bradley Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association for outstanding work in marriage cases and was the recipient of the Cornell Law School Exemplary Public Service Award. In 2005, Minter was one of 18 people to receive the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award. In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Degree from the City University of New York School of Law for his advocacy on behalf of same-sex couples and their families. Shannon has also received the Anderson Prize Foundation’s Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Distinguished National Service Award from GAYLAW, the bar association for LGBTQ lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in Washington, D.C., Cornell Law School’s Exemplary Public Service Award, the Unity Award from Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, the Advocacy Award from the San Francisco Bar Association, and the Justice Award from Equality California.
Minter serves on the boards of Faith in America and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. He has previously served on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Minter received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1993. He is originally from Texas.