November 04, 2016

Justice Department’s Diana Flynn to receive Stonewall Award for advocating LGBT rights

CHICAGO, Nov. 4, 2016 — The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will honor Diana K. Flynn, chief of the Appellate Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division with its Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 4, 2017, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami.

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. 

“Diana Flynn has led the Appellate Section for 30 years and has been key in the evolution in federal law applicable to LGBT people over that time. She also has led by example, being the first openly transgender person to occupy such a senior position in the federal government,” said

Mark Johnson Roberts, chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Flynn was instrumental in her office’s legal counsel project that laid the groundwork for the division’s application of current sex discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination based on gender nonconformity and gender identity. Under her direction, the Appellate Section has filed more than 2,000 briefs in federal courts and has maintained a success rate of more than 80 percent. She also managed the division’s efforts in connection with the marriage equality cases, including Obergefell v. Hines, decided by the Supreme Court in 2015.

A graduate of the University of Rochester in New York and Yale Law School, Flynn is the first person of trans history to serve openly in a number of senior capacities in the federal government and the legal profession.

A photo of Flynn is available for download here.

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.

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