LeGaL LGBT Podcast

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The Battle to Block the Ban

January 11th, 2019

Welcome to the Law Notes episode of the LeGaL LGBT Podcast. I’m Eric Lesh, Executive Director of LeGaL, the LGBT Bar of NY.

On today’s show we are going to be talking about the latest Supreme Court developments. We discuss the attempt by the administration to let the transgender military ban go into effect, and a new sexual orientation  discrimination case under Title IX.

Next we will talk about the ruling from a reliably rightwing activist judge from Texas who held that Obamacare was unconstitutional, placing health insurance for thousands of LGBT people at risk.

Finally, we will discuss a case brought by a student against his high school for intentional infliction of emotional distress for anti-gay animus and subjecting him to conversion therapy.  

With us is Professor Art Leonard, chief editor of LeGaL’s LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest LGBT legal developments here and abroad.  


Trump’s Trans Military Ban to SCOTUS?

December 20th, 2018

On today’s show we are going to be talking about the Trump Administration’s desperate attempt to implement its hateful transgender military ban by jumping the line straight to the Supreme Court. Next, we will talk about another cert petition. This time it’s ADF’s challenge to a PA School District’s policy allowing transgender students to use restroom and locker room facilities consistent with their gender identity. Finally, we will discuss a state court ruling that chips away at the holding in Obergefell and their own state constitutional law by denying a lesbian mother’s co-parenting and visitation access to her child.

With us is NYLS Prof Art Leonard chief editor of LeGaL’s LGBT Law Notes the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest LGBT legal developments here and abroad.  


Domestic HIV Law and Policy Talk for #WorldAidsDay

November 30th, 2018

December 1st is World AIDS Day. On this episode of the LeGaL LGBT Podcast, Eric Lesh speaks with Lambda Legal's HIV Project Director Scott Schoettes about the domestic issues of import to people living with HIV.

People living with HIV continue to face discrimination in all areas of life. Lambda Legal won the first HIV discrimination lawsuit in the nation, and since then Scott and his team have helped maintain or expand protections across the country for people living with HIV. We discuss law, policy, stigma, criminalization, access to care, the Trump administration and more!


Trump Continues Attack on Transgender Community

November 16th, 2018

It’s the Law Notes edition of the LeGaL LGBT Podcast. On this show LeGaL’s Executive Director Eric Lesh talks with Prof. Art Leonard about the Trump Administration’s decision to ask the Supreme Court to delay deciding whether Title VII bars gender identity discrimination. 

Then we will discuss two bigoted baker cases: one that may be
coming back to SCOTUS and another that was decided in the UK. 

Finally, we talk about Trump’s continued attack on the humanity and safety of trans people and the massive protests that took place in response.


Preparing for a Progressive Takeover of the Courts

October 30th, 2018

On today’s show we are going to be talking about what civil rights advocates can do to invest in judges who are committed to a liberal jurisprudence that will protect a democracy of the people as well as the rights of LGBT people, women and vulnerable minorities.

We are going to start by talking with Chris Kang, chief counsel for Demand Justice and former Chief Counsel to President Obama about the Supreme Court and how the fight for progressive constitutional change depends on citizen activism. 

Then we will talk with Jon Michaels, a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law about his recent piece for Shall Take Care blog: Advancing a Left-Liberal Jurisprudence.

Finally, we will speak with the Brennan Center’s Deputy Director of Democracy Programs, Alicia Bannon about how civil rights advocates can take a new look to state courts as an alternative to federal courts for upholding liberty and equality. 



Boom! Sodomy Law Goes Down

October 17th, 2018

We call this installment of the LGBT Law Notes edition of the LeGaL LGBT Podcast: “Sodomy Law Goes Down.” That’s because on September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the Constitution protects an individual’s sexual orientation.

We will begin by chatting about this case with Professor Art Leonard of New York Law School. Art is the chief editor and writer of LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest legal and legislative developments affecting the LGBT community here and abroad.

Then we speak with Art about a federal district court that ruled that the U.S. State Department exceeded its authority under the Passport Act of 1926 when it denied a passport to a U.S. Navy veteran who is intersex and non-binary, and does not identify as male or female.

Lastly, we will chat about the federal court in Wisconsin that ordered the state to cover transition medical costs for transgender state employees.


BiLawrriors: All about the B in lgBt.

September 20th, 2018


Host, Eric Lesh, talks with Nancy Marcus, co-founder of BiLaw and writer for LegallyBi. 

Sept 19-26 is Bisexual Awareness Week, and Septender 23rd is Bi Visibility Day.

On this episode we talk about the nearly five million adults in the U.S. who identify as bisexual. In case you were wondering, bi people actually comprise more than half of the entire LGBT community, yet bi people are often erased from the LGBT movement, our political discourse and even litigation.
So today we are going to talk with THE expext in this area, Nancy Marcus. Nancy is an out bi lawyer and LGBT rights activist. She is a co-founder of BiLaw, the national organization for bi lawyers, law professors, law students, and their allies, and is the author of "Bridging Bisexual Erasure in LGBT-Rights Discourse and Litigation." Nancy is a former colleague of mine at Lambda Legal, and she is also a dear friend.
After our Podcast conversation, Nancy was so inspired by my nudging her that she should be doing even MORE to help bi-inclusion in LGBT-rights advocacy along (because that's what friends do, nudge each other), she asked me to spread the word to any lawyers out there who want help framing strategically effective bi-inclusive arguments (and, possibly, helping with amicus briefing) that she would love to hear from you at


The Looming October SCOTUS Term

September 17th, 2018

LGBT Law Notes Episode!

Host, Eric Lesh, talks with Professor Art Leonard of New York Law School. Art is the chief editor and writer of LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest legal and legislative developments affecting the LGBT community here and abroad.

Topics include:

  • Supreme Court Faces Petitions for Review of Rulings on LGBT-Related Issues as October Term 2018 Nears;
  • Repeated Victories for Transgender Student Bathroom Access During Summer 2018; and
  • 7th Circuit Ruling Creates Federal Precedent to Protect Older Gays in Residential Facilities.

Send Marsha a note of support.

Update: ADF sent a letter to the Court Clerk, suggesting postponing the consideration of Zarda and Bostock petitions until the Oct. 26 conference.


An LGBTQ Legislative Agenda for a New New York!

September 13th, 2018

It is long past time for our New York state legislators to take action on the the issues that impact LGBTQ New Yorkers and our families. New York should be a place that protects the liberty and equality of all individuals, particularly those whose existence and expression has been oppressed.

On this episode, we speak with some experts about several important legislative priorities for LeGaL. 

First, LeGaL Executive Director, Eric Lesh speaks with our Board Member Kristen Browde about the urgent need to pass GENDA to protect the civil rights of transgender people in New York.

Next, we talk with Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project, about the effort to ban conversion therapy. 

Finally, our executive director discusses the need to ban so-called “gay and trans panic defenses” in New York. 

Listen to the podcast.

Then stand with us to take action. 


Stop Kavanaugh: What We Learned From The Hearing

September 10th, 2018

On July 31st, the LGBT Bar Association of New York, LeGaL, joined Lambda Legal and 60 other LGBTQ organizations in submitting a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

Before entering this week’s confirmation hearings, Judge Kavanaugh’s record showed no indication that would decide cases involving discrimination against LGBTQ people fairly, nor that he will uphold our constitutional right to equal dignity.

Unfortunately, nothing during the confirmation hearing did anything to alleviate our serious concerns.

LeGaL's Executive Director, Eric Lesh, sits down with Lambda Legal's Senior Attorney, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan to discuss what we learned, what's at stake and why we must stop Kavanaugh.