Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)

  • Boston, MA
  • http://www.glad.org

Mission Statement

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Main Programs

  1. Youth Initiative
  2. Civil Rights Project
  3. The Transgender Rights Project
  4. The AIDS Law Project
  5. Public Affairs and Education
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

GLAD works mainly within the six New England states to win precedent-setting legal and policy victories that serve as blueprints for the rest of the nation. We also work on select national cases that have far-reaching impact and effects for individuals and communities across the country.

ruling year

1980

Principal Officer since 2014

Self-reported

Mr. Janson Wu

Keywords

Self-reported

gay and lesbian, transgender, HIV/AIDS, marriage, gay rights, GLAD, LGBTQ, LGBTQ Youth, public interest law firm, legal, legislation, equal justice, equality, lawyers, attorneys, litigation, Supreme Court, law, courts, advocacy, legislature

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Also Known As

GLAD

EIN

04-2660498

 Number

4822618219

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

2015 accomplishments include: Twelve years after GLAD made Massachusetts the first state where same-sex couples could legally marry, GLAD's Mary Bonauto won nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court. In a groundbreaking decision, GLAD won a suit on behalf of a man who was fired as Food Services Director at a Catholic high school when they found out he was gay. The court ruled that the school had clearly discriminated by firing him from a job having nothing to do with religion - a precedent-setting victory that pushes back against attempts by religiously-affiliated institutions to violate nondiscrimination laws. In another first-of-its kind ruling, GLAD won a case allowing AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod to continue providing a life-saving needle distribution and drug-overdose reversal program for injection drug users - a critical part of reducing transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C. GLAD reached out to middle schools throughout Massachusetts to encourage them to form Gay Straight Alliances, and created online content (including a video) to educate and empower students to start their own GSAs. GLAD helped remove antiquated and costly barriers to Connecticut and Massachusetts transgender residents seeking accurate birth certificates which reflect their gender. 2016 goals include: Pass a Massachusetts bill mandating insurance coverage of the treatment for lipodystrophy, a disfiguring side effect of some HIV medications. Protect the rights of children by arguing cases in Massachusetts and Vermont high courts to establish that all parents should be recognized as legal parents regardless of family formation or configuration. Increase legal rights and protections for transgender people including: access to transition-related medical care; humane and affirming treatment in prisons; public accommodation non-discrimination laws. Protect LGBTQ youth through the development of LGBTQ-inclusive policies in foster care and juvenile detention.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Youth Initiative

GLAD's Youth Initiative works to advance equal treatment for, and the safety of, LGBTQ youth in New England through litigation, education, outreach, advocacy, and intervention. We focus on settings in which youth are likely to encounter discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or HIV status: schools, child welfare, juvenile justice system and community-based/family. In 2015, GLAD's Youth Initiative is focused on expanding middle school Gay/Straight Alliances and ensuring that homeless shelters in Massachusetts implement policies that respect the safety, needs, and identities of LGBTQ, especially transgender, homeless youth.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Gays/Lesbians

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Homeless

Budget

$244,217.00

Program 2

Civil Rights Project

Civil Rights Project (CRP): The CRP focuses on ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and on protecting LGBTQ families. In recent years, the CRP has devoted substantial resources to bringing marriage to all six New England states and filing the first cases to challenge DOMA. The CRP advocates for full parental rights for non-biological LGBTQ parents and does legislative and policy work and education on the many ways LGBTQ couples form families, including in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. The CRP is researching the specific needs of LGBTQ elders and will devote a portion of its work to meeting these needs in the coming years. The CRP is also combating employment discrimination against same-sex married couples and is deeply engaged in work around religious exemptions.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Gays/Lesbians

Other Named Groups

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$1,878,215.00

Program 3

The Transgender Rights Project

The Transgender Rights Project (the TRP) focuses on ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The TRP uses impact litigation to ensure that protection from discrimination based on gender identity and expression is respected and enforced. The TRP also: 1) works on the local, state and national levels to challenge and eliminate the wide variety of insurance exclusions that inhibit health care access for transgender people; 2) works closely with administrative and regulatory offices to promote administrative regulations and/or guidance that assist transgender people in areas such as obtaining documents consistent with their gender and ensuring appropriate implementation of existing law; 3) works in coalition to pass transgender inclusive legislation on the state level; and 4) works on the federal level to pass federal legislation that will provide employment protections to LGBT people, as well as working on national policy issues that affect transgender people.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Gays/Lesbians

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Budget

$757,289.00

Program 4

The AIDS Law Project

AIDS Law Project (ALP): The ALP fights discrimination based on HIV status, and for the privacy, health, and other rights of those living with HIV/AIDS. The ALP's largest current project is the Treat Lipodystrophy Coalition in Massachusetts, an effort to increase visibility of the hardships of people with longstanding HIV and to pass a bill requiring insurance coverage for treatment of lipodystrophy. Lipdystrophy is a debilitating and disfiguring side effect of some HIV medications.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

People Living with HIV or AIDS - PLWHA

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Gays/Lesbians

Budget

$306,065.00

Program 5

Public Affairs and Education

Public Education and Communications: GLAD's website, legal information and referral service, publications, and workshops ensure that individuals know their legal rights and how to assert them. Using traditional and new media we tell the stories of LGBTQ people and how the law affects them. The department oversees GLAD's speaking opportunities and webinars. It recruits and trains approximately 50 volunteers each year to staff GLAD's information and referral service, GLAD Answers. It maintains a Lawyer Referral Service of more than 250 New England attorneys who understand the service needs of the LGBTQ and HIV-positive communities. Working with GLAD's legal team, it updates and distributes over 20 publications on the legal rights of LGBTQ and HIV-positive people in New England.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Gays/Lesbians

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

People Living with HIV or AIDS - PLWHA

Budget

$1,178,405.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Founded in Boston in 1978, GLAD came into existence as a public interest law firm. We were created to ensure that the gay and lesbian community in New England could speak in its own voice in the courts about issues that concerned our community and so that we could educate judges, lawyers, and the general public about our lives and our need for civil rights legal protections. Early on, our mission expanded to include people living with HIV, as well as the bisexual and transgender communities. We also expanded to include work on the passage of laws and the adoption of policies by government agencies at all levels - local, state, and federal. Over the next three years our overarching goals include: 1. End discrimination, by increasing non-discrimination protections through Title VII sex discrimination litigation; securing state non-discrimination protections throughout New England; enforcing existing anti-discrimination protections; fighting employment discrimination by religiously-affiliated employers in non-ministerial positions; and ensuring the robust interpretation of state and federal constitutional equal protection and fundamental rights. 2. Strengthen and expand family protections, by establishing legal parentage based on intent and conduct, not marital status or biology; and increasing legal protections for non-marital relationships and families. 3. End HIV discrimination and stigma by fighting discrimination related to the use of prophylactic medications; and ensuring insurance coverage of treatment of lipodystrophy for our longest-term survivors. 4. Increase legal rights & protections for transgender individuals by removing the exclusion of transgender individuals within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); achieving public and private insurance coverage for transition-related care throughout New England; increasing access to transition-related care for transgender adults and youth in state custody; expand gender-appropriate recognition of transgender inmates (e.g. pronouns, placement, names, showers); and ensuring that transgender individuals can access accurate identity documents throughout New England. 5. Ensure safe and welcoming communities for LGBTQ youth by ensuring the full inclusion of transgender students in schools, including in sex-segregated facilities and activities (e.g. bathrooms, locker rooms, sports); establishing the legal rights of middle school students to create GSAs; and reforming state policies regarding youth in state custody to be LGBTQ-affirming.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    GLAD employs strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education in making our world more just, inclusive, and affirming. We work toward a society in which our identities are simultaneously irrelevant to our opportunities in life and celebrated as part of the broader diversity of American society. What we are able to achieve first here in New England through impact litigation and first-of-their kind cases, such as second parent adoptions in the 1990s and marriage equality in the 2000s, sets the standard and creates the template for progress across the country. Our legal info line and connections to private law firms nationwide allows us to stay up-to-date on, and respond immediately to, the real legal issues LGBTQ people face every day. As such, GLAD is nationally recognized as being a leader in the LGBTQ movement. We are not only uniquely positioned to change law and policy, we are changing hearts and minds through a proven education strategy of one-to-one contact with key decision-makers and influencers, far-reaching media coordination, and community outreach efforts.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    GLAD's legal team consists of nationally renowned experts on LGBTQ law. Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto is nationally acknowledged as the chief strategist of the marriage movement. She is also recognized as a movement leader around issues of parentage and family law. Jennifer Levi, the director of the Transgender Rights Project, is a nationally distinguished expert on transgender legal issues and has served as counsel in a number of precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people, including groundbreaking work on healthcare access issues and gender markers in identification documents. Bennett Klein, director of GLAD's AIDS Law Project, has litigated cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts establishing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and people living with HIV, including the successful argument before the Supreme Court in GLAD's 1998 Bragdon v. Abbott case that stated people with HIV can be protected from discrimination via the Americans with Disabilities Act. Janson Wu has served as GLAD's Executive Director since December 2014, following eight years as a staff attorney. During his time at GLAD, Janson has been deeply involved in the breadth of GLAD's work, including the rights of LGBT elders, family law and parentage, employment benefits, transgender rights, DOMA, and marriage equality. He served on the legal teams of many of GLAD's significant cases, including the DOMA challenges Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM, and the successful asylum case of Ugandan activist John Abdallah Wambere. In 2012, in the case In re Madelyn B, Janson successfully argued before New Hampshire's highest court that a non-biological lesbian mother should be recognized as a parent. Together, GLAD's small legal team brings more than 100 years of combined experience.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    GLAD measures our success by the success of our cases, the shifts in policies we influence, and the public awareness and support we are able to generate. Because our strategic impact litigation is dependent on finding plaintiffs who are willing to participate in high-profile cases, it is sometimes difficult to state objectives with strictly quantitative outcomes. But it also allows GLAD to be an exceptionally nimble organization, quickly responding to community needs as they arise. This flexibility also allows us to change course as needed, ensuring that our time, and resources are directed to the most impactful work at all times. Much of GLAD's policy-related work is related to the legislative process and collaborative partnerships. Election outcomes, new state, local and organizational leaders, and political climate affect what policies can advance in a given year. Therefore our success will be seen over the long-term - in the incremental support we gain through community organizing efforts and legislator education, and in the passage of new bills and revisions to previously set guidelines. GLAD's a multi-pronged strategy includes community engagement so that our successes can thrive. GLAD's Public Affairs & Education department works closely with our legal team to ensure the most legally accurate and compelling information is available to the general public and used to make convincing arguments for justice in the public sphere. Our media strategy reaches across the country, changing hearts and minds through the strategic dissemination of information and education to the general public, decision-makers, the news media, and individual consumers about the legal rights of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV. We achieve this through a variety of media, events, publications, one-on-one conversations, podcasts, and videos disseminated on the Internet. GLAD's Public Affairs & Education department focuses on the people behind GLAD's legal work, putting names and faces on issues that otherwise go unnoticed.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    2015 was a tremendous year for GLAD and the LGBTQ community. 1. We won a first-of-its-kind ruling: religiously-affiliated employers don't get a free pass to discriminate. 2. We filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart for discriminating against LGBT workers. 3. We pursued the first constitutional challenge to the discriminatory transgender exclusion in the Americans with Disabilities Act. 4. We ensured a life-saving needle distribution program could continue its vital work. 5. We ended discriminatory transgender health care exclusions in Connecticut and Rhode Island. 6. We showed middle schools the importance of GSAs for LGBTQ students. 7. We successfully advocated for the modernization of gender marker changes on birth certificates in Connecticut and Massachusetts. 8. We fought to ensure LGBTQ youth in state care are given respect and equal treatment. 9. We brought the first lawsuit in the country challenging discrimination against a person on PrEP. 10. We distributed over 2,000 ""Know Your Rights"" Transgender Shelter Access Cards. 11. We worked in coalition for explicit gender identity protections in public accommodations in Massachusetts. 12. We advocated for sound and compassionate health care for people with HIV. 13. We helped create first-in-the-country statewide recommendations on LGBT aging. 14. We gave help to over 2,000 callers through our GLAD Answers program. 15. We continued to fight for the rights of children and all families. In a perfectly rational world, these successes would mean everyone ""got the memo,"" and our courts and legislatures would forbid discrimination on the job, revise school curricula, understand why so many LGBTQ people are poor, and so much more. While that is not the world we live in today, these gains do pave the way for the victories yet to come. We have the opportunity to transform New England into an equality zone and a model. By 2020, we will achieve in all 6 New England states: Comprehensive non-discrimination laws Legal recognition of all LGBTQ families, regardless of what they look like or how they are formed Public and private insurance coverage for transgender health care LGBTQ-inclusive anti-bullying laws Even as we dismantle discriminatory laws and pass new, affirming policies, we recognize that not all members of our community are equally lifted by our victories. GLAD is thinking expansively about LGBTQ people's experiences across a lifetime from our earliest years, through school, at work, in the healthcare system, forming families, aging with dignity, facing death. We are paying particular attention to the needs of LGBTQ people of color, low-income individuals, immigrants, prisoners, youth and elders. Racial and Economic Justice: Half of black gay and bisexual men will contract HIV in their lifetime. LGBTQ youth of color are disproportionately targeted by police. LGBTQ undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. are re-traumatized in detention facilities. We can and must do better as one LGBTQ community. Through intentional, sustained partnerships with LGBTQ communities of color, strategic interventions that challenge discriminatory policies and practices, and coalition engagement with allied social justice movements, GLAD will do this work. We will pay equal attention to our organizational culture, practices, and staff and board composition to ensure that they reflect these values. Access to Justice: Laws are simply words on paper until they are given might and meaning in people's daily lives. We must increase enforcement of existing LGBTQ legal rights by expanding our community's access to the justice system. GLAD will use new models to make our GLAD Answers legal information service more mobile and more accessible. We will expand our outreach to marginalized people in our community, and help build LGBTQ-competent legal services and representation throughout New England.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

GLAD works mainly within the six New England states to win precedent-setting legal and policy victories that serve as blueprints for the rest of the nation. We also work on select national cases that have far-reaching impact and effects for individuals and communities across the country.

Funding Needs

Our key areas of need for 2016-2017 include: Increased resources to carry out cutting-edge legal work, such as advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ elders and employment nondiscrimination litigation. Capacity building support for improving GLAD's information technology, including hardware, improved programmatic and donor databases, other software, and personnel. Support for Board Development work to help GLAD's Board of Directors deepen their engagement and strengthen their skills to expand resources for GLAD. Increased resources to better meet the HR needs of the organization and staff, including technology, training, professional development, and succession planning.

Accreditations

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

GLBTQ LEGAL ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS, INC.
Fiscal year: Apr 01-Mar 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

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Principal Officer

Mr. Janson Wu

BIO

Janson Wu has served as GLAD's executive director since December 2014, following eight years as a staff attorney and a seven-month tenure as deputy director.During his time at GLAD, Janson has been deeply involved in the breadth of GLAD's work, including the rights of LGBT elders, family law and parentage, employment benefits, transgender rights, DOMA, and marriage equality. He served on the legal teams of many of GLAD's significant cases, including the DOMA challenges Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM, and the successful asylum case of Ugandan activist John Abdallah Wambere. In 2012, in the case In re Madelyn B, Janson successfully argued before New Hampshire's highest court that a non-biological lesbian mother should be recognized as a parent.In addition to his litigation, Janson has been extensively involved in GLAD's legislative and policy work throughout New England. In New Hampshire and Rhode Island, he led GLAD's coalition work with local advocacy organizations, legislators, and individuals to pass marriage equality in those states.In 2012, Janson received the David Carliner Award from the American Constitution Society, and in 2011 he was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. He was also a 21st Century Fellow with the Pipeline Project, which is dedicated to cultivating leadership among LGBT people of color.Before coming to GLAD, Janson worked as an attorney with Tri-City Community Action Program, a multi-service anti-poverty organization where he provided legal services to low-income people. He also worked as an associate at the litigation law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco. Janson has served on the ABA's Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.Janson Wu is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"When all is said and done, GLAD is nothing more and nothing less than the handiwork of a community of dedicated individuals - board, donors, staff, volunteers, and allies - with a shared vision of equality and justice. GLAD is all about daring to dream big and then making those dreams a reality. From employment protections to marriage equality and more, GLAD has achieved what so many at the time considered to be pipe dreams. GLAD continues to imagine and work toward an even more just world: A world where LGBTQ youth can grow up fully loved by their families, guardians, teachers and peers, and LGBTQ elders need not go back into the closet to age with dignity; A world where same-sex parents no longer have to adopt their own children but are considered legal parents from the moment of birth; A world where transgender individuals can be who they are without fear of discrimination or violence; and A world where people living with HIV are thriving, and new infections are a relic of the past. In other words, a world where we are not just tolerated, but celebrated, safe, and affirmed. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Dianne R. Phillips

Partner, Holland & Knight

Term: Jan 2012 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?