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Stephen Whittle, a professor of equalities law at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England, was one of three lawyers honored by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with a Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 8 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago. Whittle transitioned to living permanently in his preferred gender role in 1975 and was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for his work on transgender people's rights. Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002, he continues to work full time and is engaged in various volunteer activities.
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 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.
The ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity leads the ABA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and full and equal participation by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ABA, the legal profession and society. Created in 2007, the commission seeks to secure equal treatment in the ABA, the legal profession and the justice system without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.