About Me

Gay Marriage Architect Honored

By Charlotte Robinson, February 12, 2013
Mary L. Bonauto was honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity with the newly created Stonewall Award for her significant achievements in advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people. Bonauto is the Civil Rights Project Director for GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.) I met Mary at a GLAD fundraiser just about 10 years ago. At that time I asked her about the possibility that gay marriage would pass in Massachusetts. Bonauto served as lead counsel for Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. She assured me that this was going to happen & a few months later in November of 2003 Massachusetts became the first state where gay & lesbian couples could legally marry. Lee Swislow, Executive Director of GLAD stated, “Mary embodies the fighting spirit of the Stonewall riots, always determined to stand up for justice. We are so proud of Mary & grateful for her work & landmark accomplishments over the years.” Bonauto also co-led GLAD’s efforts in two challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) & achieved the first appellate ruling that declared DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional in Gill v. OPM. She is currently coordinating the amicus brief strategy in Windsor v. United States, a DOMA challenge that will be argued in front of the United States Supreme Court. She continues to be involved in litigation, lobbying & public education on a wide variety of issues affecting the lives of LGBT people. Bonauto stated, “Our cases have allowed us to enforce the common humanity of gay people & to remind people of our principles of fair treatment under state law & the U.S. Constitution.” Congrats Mary!!

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