LeGaL LGBT Podcast

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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.

You Better Clerk: Is a Judicial Clerkship Right for You?

August 14th, 2018

We call this episode. “You Better Clerk”

That’s because as many folks are heading into, or back to law school, they may be wondering if a judicial clerkship is in their future.  

Besides looking good on a resume, a judicial clerkship can be a transformative learning experience. It can also be a permanent career.

On this episode I am going to speak with a law student who spent the summer clerking for 8 different openly gay and lesbian judges at all levels of the judiciary in New York. I’ll also speak with someone who made clerking a career… or at least on her path towards being a judge one day herself. Finally I will also speak with a recent law graduate who is now in Big Law after speding 2 years clerking for the first openly gay judge on New York’s highest court

A Religious Litmus Test for Serving LGBTQ Youth at Risk?

August 2nd, 2018

This is a dangerous time for LGBTQ people, and children across the country are paying the price.

On this installment, we are going to be talking with Christina Wilson Remlin, lead counsel at Children’s Rights about anti-LGBTQ legislation that targets queer youth in out of home care by attempting to give service providers a license to discriminate against foster parents and others who don’t meet a religious litmus test.

These policies place the agencies ‘beliefs above the needs and best interests of children in care. They also discriminate against parents who are trying to provide a loving home. 

We also talk with LeGaL's Legal Director Brett Figlewski about our LGBTQ Youth Clinic and the free legal services we provide.


Every Child Deserves A Family: Aderholt

Safe Havens

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Trump’s SCOTUS Pick and What’s at Stake for Civil Rights

July 10th, 2018

On July 9, Donald Trump announced that he was nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh’s views pose a real threat to our nation’s core principles of equality and freedom for all.

LeGaL, the LGBT Bar of New York assembled a rockstar panel for this podcast to discuss Trump's SCOTUS pick and what's at stake for civil rights.

Shannon Minter , Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Leslie Proll , Civil Rights lawyer, advising NAACP on judicial nominations
Keith Thirion , Director of Outreach, Alliance for Justice
Eric Lesh , Executive Director of LeGaL, LGBT Bar of NY
Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director, United We Dream
Matry Rouse, National Field Director, HRC

Kennedy steps down: It’s all on the line!

July 3rd, 2018

On this episode of the LeGaL LGBT Podcast, we discuss Justice Kennedy's retirement, his LGBT rights legacy, and what's at stake for the future of civil rights claims.

We are joined by Professor Art Leonard of NY Law School. Art literlally knows everything about LGBT litigation, so you are not going to want to miss this.

What’s cake got to do with it?

June 26th, 2018

We call this episode, “What’s Cake Got To Do With It?”. This is because we will discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding Trump’s travel ban and its relation to Masterpiece Cake Shop, Arlene’s Flowers, and the restaurant, Red Hen’s refusal to serve White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders.

For many of us, the travel ban decision left us feeling heartbroken and helpless. The decision reminds us of Korematsu, the SCOTUS decision upholding Japanese-American imprisonment. It does not uphold this country’s most basic principles of freedom and equality.

 In a powerful dissent, Justice Sotomayor points out the disconnect between the majority’s ruling in this Hawaii v Trump, “where the majority completely sets aside the President’s charged state­ments about Muslims as irrelevant,” and the holding in Masterpiece Cakeshop, “where the majority consid­ered the state commissioners’ statements about religion to be persuasive evidence of unconstitutional government action.”

 Today, LeGaL was joined on our LGBT Podcast by Lambda Legal’s Omar Gonzalez-Pagan. Together, we discuss the decision in the travel ban case, as well as the Court’s decision yesterday in Arlene’s Flowers, a case involving a same-sex couple that was refused service by a flower shop because they were gay.