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January 08, 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting

Three legal luminaries to receive Stonewall Award

Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its 12th annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. 3  at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

2024 Stonewall Award recipients (from left) Paula E. Boggs, Janice Grubin and Mark Johnson Roberts

2024 Stonewall Award recipients (from left) Paula E. Boggs, Janice Grubin and Mark Johnson Roberts

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

The 2024 award recipients: 

Paula E. Boggs was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at the Starbucks Coffee Co. in Seattle from 2002-12. Starbucks was one of the first corporations to openly support gay marriage rights, and 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 Corp. 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 has served on the ABA Board of Governors.

Janice Grubin is a partner at Barclay Damon LLP in New York, where she was 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 was 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 its Judiciary Committee for more than 12 years. Among her responsibilities is evaluating candidates for elective judicial office 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.

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.

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