In 2020, HRC took a bold step forward to expand our legal work in the courtroom and build a collaborative hub for pro bono strategic litigation. Our goal: to reshape courts’ perspectives on the reality of the lived experiences of LGBTQ people across this country. Not as a theoretical exercise, but through the lens of the diverse lives we lead, the ways in which we learn to daily navigate the obstacles of bias that our civil rights laws are intended to dismantle, and the real-world consequences those obstacles have on our ability to live fully and freely, particularly those of us whose identities are at the intersection of multiple oppressive systems.
D.N. v. Ron DeSantis et. al.: In 2021, Florida became one of the 8 states to pass laws that restrict transgender women and girls from participation in women’s sports. HRC, joined by the law firm of Arnold & Porter, filed a lawsuit challenging the discriminatory Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, representing a 13-year-old transgender girl.
This case in Florida is brought on behalf of 13-year-old Daisy* and her parents Jessica and Gary N. Daisy is starting 8th grade in the fall and has participated in team sports since she was 8 years old. She finds joy, friendship and acceptance in basketball, softball, and currently, as a goalie on three different soccer teams. The Florida law will force Daisy to either play on the boys’ soccer team at school, which she will not do, or quit sports altogether which would be detrimental to her academic and social development, while also potentially risking her personal privacy and safety.
Daisy has only participated on girls’ sports teams; while some of her teammates and coaches are aware of her transgender identity, others are not. She has enjoyed a supportive school and team environment and continues to play without incident with other teammates, opposing players and coaches, or parents of other student athletes. With her parents’ support, Daisy began receiving gender-affirming medical care in middle school.
We are representing a brave 13-year-old transgender girl who enjoys playing goalie for her middle school soccer team and her family. You can help and show your support now.
Walker v. Azar (2020): HRC, joined by the law firm of Baker Hostetler LLP, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people in the Affordable Care Act. In August 2020, a federal district court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the harmful rule from taking effect during the height of a global pandemic. Learn more about our plaintiffs Tanya Walker and Cecilia Gentili.
Tarrant County v. Sims (2021): HRC, represented by the law firm of Winston & Strawn, joined a Texas state employment discrimination lawsuit as amicus curie to establish the first ever state level protections for LGBTQ workers in Texas.
* Daisy's name has been changed to protect her anonymity.