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“Because of Sex”: Federal Protections for LGBT People

 
Author(s): Julie Wilensky, Ria Tabacco Mar
Practice Area: Pro Bono
Published: Dec 2018
ISBN: N/A
PLI Item #: 254712
CHB Spine #: 134

Ria Tabacco Mar is a senior staff attorney with the national ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. Her work includes fighting attempts to use religion to discriminate against LGBTQ people at school, at work, and in public places. Ria was part of the ACLU’s litigation team in Miller v. Davis, the challenge to Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’s refusal to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, and Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of the same-sex couple refused a wedding cake because they are gay.

Ria has been recognized on The Root 100 annual list of the most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45 and as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Ria served as Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, where she participated regularly as amicus curiae on cases involving marriage equality and was a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Ria served as a law clerk to Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and to Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also worked as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  Ria graduated from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.


Julie Wilensky is a senior staff attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where she litigates antidiscrimination cases.

Before joining NCLR, Julie was a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, where she was a member of the Social Justice & Impact Litigation section. Previously, Julie was a shareholder at an employment and civil rights law firm in Oakland, where she litigated employment discrimination, disability rights, and employee benefits class actions. She also represented same-sex spouses and transgender people in cases involving pension and health benefits. Julie served as a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Julie graduated from Yale Law School and Yale College.

In 2018, Julie received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award. She was named by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 (2016) and Top Women Lawyers (2016), and she was named by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 (2015).