1973 November 10

Lambda Legal Defense Fund Holds First Formal Meeting


Lambda Legal Defense Fund was the first legal advocacy group for lesbians and gays in the U.S. Organized by Bill Thom, the group was its own first client. A panel of New York judges denied its application for non-profit status in 1971, arguing that the group’s purpose was “neither benevolent nor charitable.” It soon won its non-profit status and by 2013, Lambda Legal had an extensive legal docket, including cases in nine different categories of lesbian and gay rights.

The first lesbian and gay rights movement in the world originated in Berlin, Germany, in the 1860s. This included the invention of the word “homosexuality.” Read Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (2014).

Visit the Lambda Legal web site: http://www.lambdalegal.org/

Read about the history of the GLBT revolution: Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (2015)

Learn more: Joyce Murdock and Deb Price, Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians vs. The Supreme Court (2001)

Learn more: Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney, Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America (1999)

See a timeline on LGBT rights here.

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