Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

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active cases

closed cases

Victory/Settlement! (Washington)

Steven Apilado, et al. v. North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association
All sports leagues, including leagues organized within the LGBT community, should be about fair play, diversity, and inclusion. Unfortunately, when NCLR clients Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles, and Jon Russ traveled with their softball team to the 2008 Gay Softball World Series in Seattle, they encountered discrimination, hostility, and suspicion. Their team, D2, had been playing together in the San Francisco Gay Softball League for years. In 2008, they had practiced more than ever in the hopes of winning the World Series, and they made it all the way to the championship game.

Victory! (California)

Sulpizio and Bass v. Mesa Community College 
Lorri Sulpizio was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at San Diego Mesa College (Mesa), and her domestic partner, Cathy Bass, assisted the team and served as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations for over eight years. Despite Sulpizio’s and Bass’s dedication and demonstrated track record of success leading the women’s basketball program at the community college, Mesa officials unlawfully fired both coaches at the end of the 2007 academic year after Coach Sulpizio repeatedly advocated for equal treatment of female student-athletes and women coaches, and following publication in a local paper of an article identifying Sulpizio and Bass as domestic partners.

 

Victory! (Pennsylvania)

Jennifer Harris v. Maureen Portland, Penn State University, and Timothy
Curley

NCLR client Jennifer Harris reached a settlement with Penn State and its women's basketball coach Rene Portland and athletic director Tim Curley in a groundbreaking lawsuit. Harris had alleged discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and invasion of privacy.

 

Victory! (California)

Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club
Birgit Koebke and Kendall French, a lesbian couple who have been domestic partners for 12 years, sued the Bernardo Heights Country Club for refusing to provide them with the same membership benefits given to different-sex couples and for allowing other members to harass and insult them because of their sexual orientation.

 

Victory! (California)

Lessik and Manzon-Santos v. East Bay Iceland, Inc.
John Manzon-Santos and Alan Lessik, award-winning amateur figure skaters, filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court seeking redress for sexual orientation discrimination under the Berkeley Municipal Code and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Manzon-Santos and Lessik alleged that, while training for the pairs competition at Berkeley, California's Iceland, they were harassed, discriminated against, and kicked out of their home rink for skating together, hampering their ability to practice their routines and properly train for the Gay Games.

 

Victory! (Texas)

Stephens v. Bloomburg School District
Merry Stephens was an award-winning teacher and basketball coach in Bloomburg, Texas. Despite numerous teaching and coaching awards, in December 2004, the School Board initiated proceedings to terminate Coach Stephens. The school board president testified under oath that the board's decision to terminate Coach Stephens was based on the personal anti-gay animosity of several school board members.

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