The American Bar Association has named their Stonewall Award recipients.

CHICAGO, Ill. — Three longstanding LGBTQ legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its fifth annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 4, 2017, at the association’s mid-year meeting in Miami, Fla.

Named after the New York City Stonewall Inn police raid and riot of June 28, 1969, which was a turning point in the gay rights movement, the award recognizes lawyers who have considerably advanced LGBTQ individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBTQ legal causes.

The 2017 award recipients are: Kevin Cathcart, the executive director of Lambda Legal from 1992 until his retirement in 2016. He helped change the legal landscape for LGBT people with the organization’s work on three historic Supreme Court cases: Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hines; Diana K. Flynn, chief of the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, was instrumental in her office’s legal counsel project that laid the groundwork for the division’s application of current sex discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination based on gender non-conformity and gender identity. She also managed the division’s efforts in connection with the marriage equality cases, including Obergefell v. Hines, decided by the Supreme Court in 2015; Tonya Parker, judge of the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas, received national and international media attention when, after her election in 2010, she declined to officiate weddings until every couple in Texas, including gay and lesbian couples, could get married.

“The American Bar Association is pleased to recognize these three gay rights pioneers. Each has been a forceful voice for LGBT inclusion and legal progress,” said Mark Johnson Roberts, chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.