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American Bar Association to honor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for fighting discrimination


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American Bar Association to honor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for fighting discrimination

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will receive the American Bar Association’s Congressional Justice Award on April 9 for her efforts to improve the justice system by fighting discrimination and supporting comprehensive immigration reform.


“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.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.