LGBTQ Legal Issues

Action. It’s a word that can have many meanings, but one particular interpretation is our favorite: “an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.” An action can be something we do as individuals, or it can be something done by a larger institution, like Mississippi’s Religious Liberty Accommodations Act, which has the potential to further marginalize the LGBTQ community by masking discrimination with religious freedom. The existence of laws like this in the United States is indicative of a reality that is harmful for... More
If you are between 18-24 years old you can get *FREE* legal support on Wednesday, June 22 from 5:00-7:00PM during our youth drop-in clinic at Mazzoni Center, 1348 Bainbridge Street. No appointment required. Stop in and learn more! More
Mazzoni Center celebrates the work of Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal and the many others who have worked for years to bring about Tuesday's historic result at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals . This decision states clearly that discrimination based on sexual orientation is sex discrimination. That means that lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer – and straight –... More
More than 160 people attended this year’s Justice in Action luncheon on Friday, February 10 at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, which raised a record-breaking $62,000 in support of Mazzoni Center Legal Services. Event co-chairs Michael D. Soileau and Jessica Meller, Esq., expressed their gratitude to guests and sponsors for their generous support. “We’re very fortunate to have a community of legal professionals and so many others in Philadelphia who recognize and support the critical work this program does,... More
Yesterday the Trump administration made it official: it is backing away from protecting the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming youth to fair treatment in America’s schools. Officials from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, under the new leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, issued a joint letter that reverses legal guidance by the Obama administration last May, which, among other points, explained that a school engages in discrimination when denying transgender students access to school facilities,... More
We know that trans and gender nonconforming youth face extremely high levels of rejection, discrimination, verbal and physical harassment at schools . This has a direct connection to their disproportionate drop-out rates, as well as the higher incidence of homelessness, unemployment, and suicide attempts among trans/gnc youth. That's why we were alarmed to learn that the Department of Education and Department of Justice... More
On February 10, Mazzoni Center recognized and honored Mara Keisling , Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality , at our eighth annual Justice in Action luncheon for her groundbreaking work on behalf of trans and nonbinary individuals within the LGBTQ community. Shortly before the event, we spoke with Keisling to learn more about her work... More
Under a new federal administration in which LGBTQ and many other rights are called into question every day, it’s easy to feel helpless—like nothing you are capable of doing as an individual is enough to make a real impact. On the morning of Friday, February 10, though, legal professionals will have an opportunity to take a solid, substantial step toward action. Ahead of the eighth annual Justice in Action luncheon, the Mazzoni Center’s legal services department will offer a continuing legal education... More
In merely a few days following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, dramatic change has already swept Washington. The nation is currently seeing entire federal agencies muzzled , expired reproductive care legislation re-entering the fold ,... More
Justice. It’s a concept that’s been on many people’s minds lately, especially as we head into a political era in which the rights of many Americans are more uncertain than ever before. With many social institutions under impending threat of federal defunding or outright dismantling, it has now become imperative to fortify and protect our communities — with priority to those who are marginalized. As the only resource specifically tailored to offer free legal services to LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, especially those of lower incomes, ... More