National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy


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D.H. v. Snyder

D.H. and John Doe are transgender teenagers who require male chest reconstruction surgery to treat their gender dysphoria. Arizona is refusing to cover this medically necessary treatment because of a categorical exclusion on covering surgical treatments for gender dysphoria in the state’s Medicaid regulations.


Meriwether v. Shawnee State University

Jane Doe filed a Title IX complaint with Shawnee State University after Professor Meriwether refused to use female honorifics and pronouns when referring to Jane in class. When the university placed a discipline letter in his personnel file, Meriwether sued the university claiming that the disciplinary action infringed on his First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion, among other violations of federal and state law.


Walsh v. Friendship Village of South County

On July 25, 2018, Mary Walsh, age 72, and Bev Nance, age 68, a married lesbian couple, filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Missouri against St. Louis senior housing community Friendship Village Sunset Hills. The complaint alleges that Friendship Village violated the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against Walsh and Nance on the basis of sex, denying them a unit because they are a same-sex married couple.


Koran v. OPM

Amelie Koran is a federal employee who was denied coverage for transition-related care under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). The federal Office of Personnel Management is the agency responsible for administering the FEHB, which provides health insurance coverage for millions of current and former federal employees across the country.


Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump

NCLR and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) represent the plaintiffs in two major lawsuits challenging President Trump’s directive to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military. The suits were filed on behalf of transgender service members with decades of combined military service.


Ketcham v. Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon

Christina Ketcham is a 60-year-old transgender woman who started her transition over four years ago and continues to experience significant distress from the incongruence between her typically masculine facial features and her identity as a woman. To alleviate that distress, Christina’s treating healthcare providers determined that certain facial feminization procedures are medically necessary to treat her gender dysphoria. But, the health insurance offered by her employer has a categorical exclusion for all facial feminization procedures.


Kevin Seaman and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — Agreement with Lyft

Kevin Seaman, an interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker, and drag queen whose drag persona is LOL McFiercen, and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a leading-edge Order of queer and trans nuns devoted to community service and promoting human rights, have reached a collaborative agreement with Lyft to ensure individuals in the queer and drag communities are not discriminated against by drivers using Lyft’s platform.


Krall v. OPM

In May 2017, NCLR and Teresa Renaker of Renaker Hasselman LLP appealed a decision by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to collect an overpayment of benefits that resulted from decades of discrimination. After 38 years of service, when Ms. Krall notified OPM of her marriage to her loving partner of 21 years, OPM informed the couple that if they elected a survivor pension benefit, the couple would have to first repay hundreds of thousands of dollars of retirement benefits Ms. Krall received as a single life annuity.


Wade v. Starbucks Corp. Amicus

On August 21, NCLR and Lambda Legal led a coalition of LGBTQ advocacy organizations and legal aid groups in submitting a proposed amicus brief urging California’s Fifth Appellate District to reverse a trial court ruling against Maddie Wade, a former employee of Starbucks in Fresno. The case is Wade v. Starbucks Corporation.


Otto v. City of Boca Raton Amicus

In 2017, the City of Boca Raton, Florida, and the County of Palm Beach, Florida, each enacted local ordinances prohibiting state-licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient under 18 years old. Every leading medical and mental health organization in the country has warned that these practices do not work and put young people at risk of serious harm, including depression, substance abuse, and suicide.


Hogsett v. Neale Amicus

Edi Hogsett and Marcia Neale were a same-sex couple who were together for thirteen years. When their relationship ended, they jointly sought a dissolution of a common law marriage. Later, Marcia argued that she and Edi were not actually married, in part because they could not have legally married prior to marriage equality.


Dvash-Banks v. Pompeo Amicus

Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks are a married same-sex couple who had twins through surrogacy in Canada, where they live. Each of them is the genetic father of one of the twins, but both fathers are legally-recognized as parents of the twins. Elad is an Israeli citizen and Andrew is a U.S. and Canadian dual citizen. The U.S. Consulate refused to recognize both twins as U.S. citizens because one child is not genetically tied to Andrew.


Yanes v. O C Food & Beverage Amicus

On December 16, 2019, Equality Florida, Impact Fund, and NCLR led a coalition of Florida civil rights groups and nonprofit organizations in filing an amicus brief urging Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal to reverse a trial court ruling invalidating Orange County’s Human Rights Ordinance (HRO).


June Medical Services v. Russo Amicus

On December 2, 2019, NCLR filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court. The case involves a challenge to a law in Louisiana that would force all but one abortion clinic in that state to close, a law that is virtually identical to one in Texas that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional just three years ago in the landmark case <em>Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt</em>.


New York v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Other Lawsuits Challenging the “Denial of Care” Rule Amicus

In 2019, NCLR filed four amicus briefs in eight federal lawsuits challenging a regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care.” The Trump Administration’s regulation, more aptly referred to as the “denial of care” rule, would allow health care professionals to deny certain medical treatments or services to patients based on the provider’s own religious or moral beliefs.


G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board Amicus

Gavin Grimm transitioned in his sophomore year of high school and started using the boys’ restroom. Despite using the restroom for nearly two months without incident, the Gloucester County School Board adopted a policy prohibiting him and other transgender students from using the facilities that match their gender identity. Gavin sued his school district for violating federal law.

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