2019 MIDYEAR MEETING

Three LGBT trailblazers to receive Stonewall Award

Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) with its seventh annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony Jan. 26 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.

The award recognizes lawyers who have advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.

The 2019 award recipients: 

Mark Agrast, executive director of the American Society of International Law. Within the ABA, he helped start the Committee on the Rights of Gay People in 1983, spearheaded a move to amend the ABA Constitution in 1992 to provide that the LGBT Bar is an affiliated organization, established the ABA Commission on SOGI in 2007 and led the effort to pass a resolution supporting same-sex marriage in the House of Delegates in 2014.

Mary Eaton, a partner at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. She led a team of lawyers that sued the New York State Department of Health in 2016 to change a regulation that barred Medicaid coverage for transgender-related healthcare. Eaton also drafted an amicus brief representing 92 plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges. In 2017, Willkie lawyers led by Eaton filed an amicus brief challenging a Virginia school district’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom conforming to their gender identity.

Sharon McGowan, legal director at Lambda Legal and former deputy director of appellate litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. She developed the arguments that led the U.S. to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and the arguments in the Windsor and Obergefell cases. McGowan was counsel for the U.S. as amicus in G.G. v. Gloucester County, where the Fourth Circuit upheld the finding that requiring a transgender student to use a restroom that corresponds with their biological sex violates Title IX. 

The award recognizes lawyers who have advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.

The 2019 award recipients: 

Mark Agrast, executive director of the American Society of International Law. Within the ABA, he helped start the Committee on the Rights of Gay People in 1983, spearheaded a move to amend the ABA Constitution in 1992 to provide that the LGBT Bar is an affiliated organization, established the ABA Commission on SOGI in 2007 and led the effort to pass a resolution supporting same-sex marriage in the House of Delegates in 2014.

Mary Eaton, a partner at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. She led a team of lawyers that sued the New York State Department of Health in 2016 to change a regulation that barred Medicaid coverage for transgender-related healthcare. Eaton also drafted an amicus brief representing 92 plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges. In 2017, Willkie lawyers led by Eaton filed an amicus brief challenging a Virginia school district’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom conforming to their gender identity.

Sharon McGowan, legal director at Lambda Legal and former deputy director of appellate litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. She developed the arguments that led the U.S. to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and the arguments in the Windsor and Obergefell cases. McGowan was counsel for the U.S. as amicus in G.G. v. Gloucester County, where the Fourth Circuit upheld the finding that requiring a transgender student to use a restroom that corresponds with their biological sex violates Title IX. 

The award recognizes lawyers who have advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes.

The 2019 award recipients: 

Mark Agrast, executive director of the American Society of International Law. Within the ABA, he helped start the Committee on the Rights of Gay People in 1983, spearheaded a move to amend the ABA Constitution in 1992 to provide that the LGBT Bar is an affiliated organization, established the ABA Commission on SOGI in 2007 and led the effort to pass a resolution supporting same-sex marriage in the House of Delegates in 2014.

Mary Eaton, a partner at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. She led a team of lawyers that sued the New York State Department of Health in 2016 to change a regulation that barred Medicaid coverage for transgender-related healthcare. Eaton also drafted an amicus brief representing 92 plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges. In 2017, Willkie lawyers led by Eaton filed an amicus brief challenging a Virginia school district’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom conforming to their gender identity.

Sharon McGowan, legal director at Lambda Legal and former deputy director of appellate litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. She developed the arguments that led the U.S. to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and the arguments in the Windsor and Obergefell cases. McGowan was counsel for the U.S. as amicus in G.G. v. Gloucester County, where the Fourth Circuit upheld the finding that requiring a transgender student to use a restroom that corresponds with their biological sex violates Title IX. 

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