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November 13, 2023

ABA names recipients of 2024 Stonewall Award honoring LGBT advancements in legal profession

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2023 — Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its 11th annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 3, 2024, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

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 2024 award recipients:  

Paula E. Boggs’ career spanned law, business, government and the arts. From 2002-12 she was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at the Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle. One of the first corporations to openly support gay marriage rights, Boggs led the company’s focus on diversity and inclusion and kept Starbucks partners, including the supply chain, retail partners and customers, informed and comfortable with the company’s policies. Prior to that, she was vice president for legal products, operations and information technology at Dell Computer Corporation in Austin, Texas, where she was the first openly gay executive. Earlier, Boggs was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle; an assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Washington; an officer in the U.S. Army; and a staff attorney on the White House Iran-Contra Legal Task Force. She performs music as the front woman of the Paula Boggs Band and serves on the ABA Board of Governors. The first openly gay trustee of The Johns Hopkins University, Boggs has been a long-standing, engaged donor to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the nation’s oldest LGBT rights organization. She has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Janice Grubin is a partner at Barclay Damon LLP in New York, where she has a prominent commercial insolvency practice and co-chairs her firm’s Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Area. Grubin is a founding member of the firm’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Affinity Network, created in 2022 to enhance a workplace culture where individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions feel safe and supported. She has worked to diversify the New York and federal bench both in evaluating candidates and in educating LGBT lawyers and aspiring lawyers about how to become a judge and assisting them in identifying pathways to pursue. Grubin has been the first vice president of the LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York and has served as the chair and co-chair of the Judiciary Committee of that organization for more than 12 years. Among her responsibilities is evaluating candidates for elective judicial office to ensure competence and a sensitivity to the perspectives of LGBT persons appearing in their courtrooms and endorsing openly LGBT and LGBT-ally candidates for appointed seats on the federal bench and on the New York Court of Appeals. In addition, Grubin is a member of the Path-to-the-Bench Working Groups for the Connecticut and New York chapters of the American Constitution Society. Grubin has a B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Mark Johnson Roberts is a former board co-chair of the National Lesbian & Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar Association), former chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and former president of the Oregon State Bar. He co-founded the Oregon Gay & Lesbian Law Association as well as a group that later became the Basic Rights Oregon Legal Advisory Team, which designed and implemented a legal strategy for achieving marriage equality in the state and coordinated efforts with national organizations. Johnson Roberts assisted in drafting Oregon’s civil union law and served as lead attorney on several cases, including Martinez v. Kulongoski, the first case that attempted to overturn the state’s “defense of marriage” constitutional amendment. He has a B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

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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