LGBT

Folks, it looks like New York State might pass gay marriage legislation.

The New York State Assembly has long since passed legislation authorizing gay marriage. But the hold up has been in the much more conservative New York State Senate. This morning, reports surfaced that gay marriage was just one vote shy in the Senate.

Would you want to be the one vote who told gay New Yorkers that their love was “wrong” and shouldn’t be recognized by the state? I wouldn’t want to be that one vote.

Well, Instinct Magazine is reporting — citing the Twitter feed of the Capital Tonight news program — that gay marriage proponents have the 32nd vote they need to break the 31-31 deadlock in the senate over the issue. In addition, the New York Civil Liberties Union claims, also via Twitter, that pro-marriage forces “have more than enough votes” to carry the measure.

But no vote has been scheduled as of now. If you support gay marriage in New York, now would be a good time to contact your senator.

Gosh, when judges just impose gay marriage upon the citizens, it isn’t nearly this complicated. In any event, gay marriage seems to be on the march in New York.

We’ll keep you posted of any developments.

Breaking: Capital Tonight Reports NY Senate Now Has The Necessary 32 Votes [Instinct]

Ed. note: This post is by Will Meyerhofer, a former Sullivan & Cromwell attorney turned psychotherapist. He holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work, and he blogs at The People’s Therapist. His new book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy, is available on Amazon (affiliate link).

LGBT people confront widespread hatred, yet each year take new strides towards equality. What’s the secret?

“Straight allies” – a concept every lawyer needs to understand.

As an LGBT person, you face a stark reality – there aren’t many of us. It might not seem like it, but we’re a tiny minority. And it’s a myth that we recruit straight people to be gay – we would, but it’s impossible.

“Straight allies” are the folks who aren’t LGBT but – because they’re caring, patient, loving, open-minded and plain decent – they help LGBT people persevere in the struggle for equal rights.

What’s this got to do with lawyers?

You need some allies, too – allies who aren’t lawyers. It’s key to your survival….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Straight Allies”

The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Corporate Equality Index, which assesses corporate America’s progress towards equal treatment of the LGBT community.

It’s a pretty great day to be gay and searching for career advice. Gawker has a list up right now on the top ten gay colleges, and the Human Rights Campaign is trying to help you figure out where to work when you’re done with law school.

This year, 97 Biglaw firms (out of 130 who responded to the survey) received a perfect score from the HRC. That’s up from last year and makes the legal field the best industry when it comes to LGBT issues. Banking was next and retail finished third.

Check here to see if your firm made the list.

Granted, you’d expect law firms — what with their expert understanding of “laws,” and such — to be leaders when it comes to gay and lesbian equality. But the legal field was able to achieve this distinction notwithstanding a somewhat controversial rating philosophy that may have prevented other firms from achieving perfect scores…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Almost 100 Biglaw Firms Are Perfectly Gay”

Human Rights Campaign HRC gay rights Above the Law blog.jpgLet’s give credit where credit is due. The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Best Places to Work list. It shows that law firms are great when it comes to creating a non-discriminatory environment for gays and lesbians. The ABA Journal reports:

In 2006, the first year law firms were included in the Human Rights Campaign survey, 12 got a perfect rating of 100 percent [on the Corporate Equality Index]. This year an unprecedented 88 law firms got perfect ratings, “eclipsing every other industry represented on the index,” according to a press release. The group evaluated 127 law firms in all; 124 of them were among the nation’s largest 200 law firms.

Our industry deserves a large pat on the back. In a time of massive layoffs, it is great that law firms are still committed to equality when it comes to sexual orientation.

Check out the list of firms that are good for gays here (PDF).

Top Law Firms for Equality – 2010 [Human Rights Campaign]
Law Firms Outshine Other Companies in Ranking by Gay Rights Group [ABA Journal]

Earlier: Which Law Firms Are Down With the Gays?

It’s Friday afternoon, and things are kinda slow. So please forgive the randomness.

Remember Kirkland & Ellis’s big gay party from last month, featuring cocktails and hors d’ouevres, but open only to LGBT lawyers? A source at our former firm writes:

Hors d’ouevres? That’s nothing! At Wachtell Lipton, the gay partners (and whatever associates/summers are out and proud) go to a verrry nice dinner every year. Last year it was at Per Se.

Magnificent. We’ve been to Per Se — on our own dime, not Wachtell’s — and it lives up to the hype.

So if you’re summering at WLRK, say that you’re gay (whether you are or not). You can always “change your mind” when you return to school in the fall; sexuality is fluid. And Per Se’s salmon tartare cornets are to die for!

Earlier: Kirkland & Ellis’s Big Gay Party: Discriminatory?

Human Rights Campaign HRC gay rights Above the Law blog.jpgThe Human Rights Campaign has some answers. HRC, which is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, recently released its annual list of Best Places to Work. And law firms were prominently represented:

[T]he Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report showing that numerous large U.S. law firms are providing important benefits and protections for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) attorneys and staff. In this year’s report, which is part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s broader Corporate Equality Index, 30 law firms earned the top rating of 100 percent. 80 law firms earned scores of 80 percent or above.

You can see the list of top firms by clicking here (PDF; scroll down to page 48). Alas, no 100 percent rating for Sullivan & Cromwell, of Charney v. S&C fame — despite their generous gifts of Kiehl’s products at LGBT job fairs.

But our friends at Nixon Peabody earned a perfect score. Will they commission a theme song to celebrate? Like “Everyone Loves Gay People at Nixon Peabody”?

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this post, we linked to (and reprinted info from) this page on the HRC website. But an HRC rep has informed us that the page hasn’t been updated from last year, and still reflects scores from the 2007 report.

HRC Corporate Equality Index — 2008 [Human Rights Campaign (PDF)]

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