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Mary Bonauto (2015)

Mary L. Bonauto is an American lawyer and civil rights advocate who has worked to eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has been referred to by US Representative Barney Frank as "our Thurgood Marshall." She began working with the Massachusetts-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders organization in 1990. A resident of Portland, Maine, Bonauto was one of the leaders who both worked with the Maine legislature to pass a marriage equality law and to defend it at the ballot in a narrow loss during the 2009 election campaign.

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About the Mary Bonauto Interview

I'm Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). I've spent years litigating in the state and federal courts of New England on adoption and parenting, censorship, hate crimes, and discrimination in jobs and public accommodations. Two Vermont co-counsel and I won a 1999 ruling in Baker v. State of Vermont which led to the nation’s first civil union law, and I was lead counsel in the groundbreaking case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which made Massachusetts the first state where same-sex couples could legally marry in 2004. I also led GLAD's federal court challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in Gill v. OPM and Pedersen v. OPM, leading to the first federal court rulings against DOMA.

In 2015, I successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the historic case Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide. I am also a 2014 MacArthur Fellow.

NOTE: I will hop on at 12ET today to start answering questions, but up through then, post your questions and AMA!

SECOND EDIT: I'm on live right now! AMA.

FINAL EDIT: Hi reddit, I have enjoyed being here answering your questions but I have to hop off for now. Thanks for the wonderful questions, I really enjoyed this!






Mary Bonauto Sep 23, 2015