(San Francisco, CA, February 29, 2012)—National Center for Lesbian Rights State Policy Director Liz Seaton is leaving the organization next month to join Justice at Stake, an organization that works for fair and impartial courts, as its new Deputy Director for Policy and Advocacy. She will be replaced at NCLR by Connie Utada, who has spent the last two years at Immigration Equality, developing strategies to help pass lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender immigration reform through Congress.

Seaton began working for NCLR in 2008, previously serving as the organization’s Director of Projects and Managing Attorney. Her recent work at NCLR has focused on supporting state and local efforts for LGBTQ equality, including local anti-discrimination and equal benefits ordinances, parenting and relationship protections, and transgender non-discrimination ordinances. Most recently, she worked as part of the legal team with Marylanders for Marriage Equality to help ensure passage of the marriage rights bill in both chambers of the state legislature.

Utada will join NCLR in late March. As Immigration Equality’s Policy Counsel, she has played a major role in campaigning for the Uniting American Families Act and the Reuniting Families Act. She received her law degree from Northeastern University, and is an alumna of Smith College. After law school, she worked as a public defender in Massachusetts, representing indigent clients. She will continue leading NCLR’s efforts in targeted states to work with local and state organizations to secure protections for LGBTQ people through policy reforms and legislation.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
www.NCLRights.org .