Priorities for the LGBT Agenda in a New Administration: An LGBT Bar Event Presented by Celesq® AttorneysEd Center

Program Number: 1991LGBT

Program Date: 09/12/2009


With a constitutional scholar as the new President, key leaders of major LGBT advocacy organizations share how they, and their groups, are working to achieve equality and to identify critical legal issues that will arise over the next four years to achieve equality for the LGBT community.

$150.00Audio CD Add to Cart $120.00Online Audio Add to Cart

Available in states

Arizona, California, Colorado Eligible, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey Eligible, New York, Texas Self Study

Credit Information

50 minute credit hour - 1.5 General CLE credit
60 minute credit hour - 1.5 General CLE credit

State Program Numbers


Kevin M. Cathcart, Esq.

Lambda Legal

Kevin M. Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal since 1992, is a leading strategist and spokesperson in the movement to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Cathcart has made Lambda Legal an unparalleled national force through its far-reaching litigation and public education. Under his leadership, Lambda Legal promotes security, respect and fairness for lesbian and gay youth, families and all people, regardless of sexual orientation or HIV status. Lambda Legal's groundbreaking work reached new heights in 2003 when it won a U.S. Supreme Court victory striking down Texas' "Homosexual Conduct" law and every law like it in the nation. Lambda Legal was lead counsel in the case, representing two men who were arrested in Houston while having consensual sex at home. The landmark ruling continues to impact all areas of LGBT people's lives, and Cathcart has mapped out a wide-ranging strategy for Lambda Legal to turn its historic court victory into a reality in people's everyday lives. In 2009, Lambda Legal won a historic and unanimous victory for marriage equality in Iowa, extending the organization's record of groundbreaking accomplishments. Other unique programs begun during Cathcart's tenure include Lambda Legal's Foster Care Initiative to improve care of lesbian and gay youth in foster care, whose needs go largely unmet throughout the country. With its Marriage Project, Lambda Legal plays a leading role in litigation and education to win the freedom to marry. Cathcart has fostered dramatic growth in the organization as well as in the scope of its work. He oversaw the opening of Lambda Legal's second regional office, the Midwest Regional Office in Chicago in 1993, followed by the opening of the Southern Regional Office in Atlanta and the South Central Regional Office in Dallas. From its regional offices, including the Western Regional Office in Los Angeles and from its New York Headquarters, Lambda Legal responds to requests for help and information from thousands of individuals facing discrimination each year. Since Cathcart took Lambda Legal's helm, the staff has more than quadrupled and the organization's budget has grown to just over $10 million. A longtime leader in the lesbian and gay community, Cathcart served from 1984 to 1992 as executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, New England's lesbian, gay, and AIDS legal organization. Prior to GLAD, Cathcart was a staff attorney at the North Shore Children's Law Project. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the LGBT Executive Director's Institute. Cathcart graduated from Richard Stockton State College (New Jersey) in 1976 and the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1978. He received his J.D. from Northeastern School of Law in 1982.


James Esseks, Esq.

American Civil Liberties Union

James D. Esseks is co-director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project, where he has worked since 2001. At the ACLU, Mr. Esseks oversees litigation around the country that aims to ensure equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people by the government; equal rights and protections for LGBT couples and families; protection from discrimination in jobs, schools, housing, and public accommodations; and fair treatment by the government of people living with HIV. Examples include cases challenging the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage; challenges to bans on adoption or foster parenting by lesbians and gay men; challenges to schools that seek to stifle the speech or association rights of LGBT students; and cases seeking to protect transgender people from discrimination in employment. Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Esseks was a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., in New York, where he represented employees in a range of employment matters. Mr. Esseks graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable James R. Browning, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.


Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.

Immigration Equality

Rachel B. Tiven is the Executive Director of Immigration Equality, a national organization fighting for equal immigration rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive community. Ms. Tiven received her law degree from Columbia Law School and her bachelor's degree from Harvard University. She has represented immigrant clients at the Legal Aid Society of New York, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Barbara S. Jones in the Southern District of New York. Before becoming an attorney, Ms. Tiven was a reporter and television producer for Bloomberg Business News, and a member of Lambda Legal's media team.