(San Francisco, CA, July 8, 2015)–On July 12, 2015, the Pride Law Fund (PLF) will honor Shannon Minter, Legal Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, with its Trailblazer Award at its annual boat cruise.   For over thirty-five years, PLF has awarded grants to new lawyers and law students pursuing LGBTQ advocacy projects. The cruise will take place aboard FDR’s presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Potomac (also known as the “Floating White House”).

Since 1993, Mr. Minter has been a tireless advocate at NCLR, one of the country’s leading LGBTQ legal organizations. Mr. Minter argued before the California Supreme Court in the landmark California case that held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry. He has litigated on behalf of LGBTQ rights before courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. President Obama recently appointed Mr. Minter to the Commission on White House Fellowships, making him one of the highest-ranking openly transgender officials in the United States.

“I am honored to receive this award from Pride Law Fund,” Mr. Minter said.  “PLF’s support for the next generation of LGBTQ lawyers and leaders is inspirational to me and absolutely vital to the LGBTQ rights movement.”

Past recipients of Pride Law Fund awards include Judge Mary Morgan and California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno.

All proceeds from the cruise benefit PLF’s fellowships for new lawyers and law students focusing on LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS civil rights advocacy.

Every year, PLF awards the year-long Tom Steel Legal Fellowship, a $30,000 grant, to a new lawyer to build an innovative civil rights project on behalf of the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities.  PLF’s 2014 fellow, Daniel Faessler, founded the Transgender Legal Services Project hosted by the Transgender Law Center, which provides fully bilingual services to transgender and gender non-conforming people in the San Francisco Bay Area. PLF’s 2015 fellow, Raul Arroyo-Mendoza, will work with the National Center for Youth Law to advocate for LGBTQ youth involved in the sex trade.

In addition to its year-long fellowship, PLF has funded over 100 summer fellowships for law students clerking at LGBTQ civil rights organizations across the country.  Every year, PLF’s Steven Richter Fellowship funds a law student who is working on HIV/AIDS advocacy. PLF’s 2015 summer fellow is Jennifer Lang, a rising 2L at Boston College, who is putting her fluent Creole language skills to use serving recently arrived Haitian immigrants at the AIDS Action Committee in Boston.

“Shannon Minter embodies PLF’s mission—and he’s the kind of leader our fellows look up to.  Our fellows aim to follow in Mr. Minter’s footsteps: to create lasting change, to break new ground, and to advocate for the most underserved communities in the LGBTQ community.  We are thrilled to honor a community hero like Mr. Minter with the Trailblazer Award,” said PLF co-chair Daniel Redman.

PLF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit, charitable organization that was founded in 1979.