NCLR has engaged in federal advocacy nearly since our founding 45 years ago, but the establishment of our DC office made participation in federal spaces – such as Congress and the White House – much more regular. As NCLR showed up in these spaces more frequently, the organization became more widely known among federal policymakers.
NCLR routinely joins LGBTQ partner organizations for bi-weekly calls with the White House, engages in regular meetings with other federal agencies, and collaborates directly with policymakers as a result of our federal advocacy. Our legal and policy expertise creates spaces for our clients’ voices to be heard by who they would normally have limited access to.
Coalition building is at the heart of NCLR’s policy work. As NCLR’s Federal Policy Director, Julie Gonen regularly participates in numerous LGBTQ and reproductive justice coalitions and is frequently asked to speak on the intersections of our movements. In 2020, NCLR was approached to co-create and lead the Religious Equality and Liberty (REAL) Coalition, a cross-movement space to share information on religious liberty/exemption issues.
NCLR is proud that Julie shares her expertise on the frontlines of reproductive justice movements. Julie’s work includes writing amicus briefs in abortion rights cases, congressional testimony in support of federal legislation to ensure abortion access, and regulatory comments on federal administrative policy on reproductive health care. The unique position that Julie plays allows her to explore the intersections between LGBTQ equality and reproductive health, rights, and justice.
NCLR began by fighting for the right to build a family in 1977. Now, 45 years later in a time where access to reproductive health services is being stripped away, NCLR is committed to – and leading – the fight against legislation that will force pregnancies against people’s will.