“The ABA Justice Award is given to members of Congress who champion justice for all. Sen. Gillibrand’s continued leadership against discrimination serves New York and our nation,” ABA President James R. Silkenat said.
In 2010, Gillibrand played a key role in convening Senate Armed Services Committee hearings focused on repealing the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which barred openly gay individuals from serving in the military. Those hearings built momentum toward the 2011 repeal of the policy.
Gillibrand has also supported significant legislation to combat anti-gay government policies. As an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, she led a prominent push to require the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court ultimately overturned DOMA in a landmark 2013 decision.
The senator also supports comprehensive immigration reform, including enactment of the DREAM Act, which would give young people brought to the United States as children the opportunity to earn legal status through serving in the military or attending college.
Gillibrand will receive one of four ABA Congressional Justice Awards that will be given as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2014 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to D.C. to discuss issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
Other recipients of 2014 ABA Congressional Justice Awards include Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.
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