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Projects, Units & Initiatives

LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Initiative

Our LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Initiative works continuously with staff members and partner organizations, juggling a number of initiatives to spread awareness and make an impact for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. Our multidisciplinary team works to reform policy, advance education through trainings, and improve affirming practices to address the urgent needs of the LGBTQ+ communities, especially communities of color. Impact litigation is an integral pillar of the Initiative’s work, most importantly supporting the brave and invaluable class action litigation plaintiffs. Impact litigation makes a lasting difference by challenging the systemic injustices that members of the LGBTQ+ communities face every day.

In recent years, the Initiative has focused on a group of New Yorkers that have long been overlooked: homeless youth. Working alongside corporation counsel, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, and the Society’s Homeless Rights Project and the Special litigation units from the Civil and Juvenile Rights Practice, the Initiative works to support youth without access to affirming shelter in New York. While over 40% of homeless youth in our city identify as LGBTQ+, these young New Yorkers lack essential support. Steadily progress is being made for these vulnerable youths. New York City just announced it will be opening its first shelter to assist LGBTQ+ homeless youth.


During 2018,  the Initiative tabled at the Department of Education’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance summit. We provided materials to over 700 youth and DOE staff who attended. The Initiative continues to attend the LGBTQ+ Roundtable meetings to collaborate with community partners invested in systemic change for LGBTQ+ communities.