National Center for Lesbian Rights

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National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Lesbian Rights is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by lesbian attorneys Roberta Achtenberg and Donna Hitchens.[1]

National Center for Lesbian Rights manipulates the courts using strategic litigation.[2]

Challenge Transgender Ban in Military

National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit[3] challenging President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban in August 2017. From their press release:[4]

"In June 2016, after comprehensive review of the issue by military experts and others, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly in all branches of the U.S. military. The Department concluded that the ban served no legitimate purpose and that open service by transgender people would serve the military’s best interests. Since that time, thousands of transgender service members have begun to serve openly.
“Trump’s directive to exclude transgender people from military service has created a tidal wave of harms that have already been felt throughout our armed services. Transgender service members have been blindsided by this shift and are scrambling to deal with what it means for their futures and their families,” said Shannon Minter, a transgender legal expert and NCLR Legal Director. “The President’s mistreatment of these dedicated troops will serve only to weaken and demoralize our armed forces.”
“The Commander in Chief has said that transgender service members — people who have served our nation with honor and distinction — are no longer welcome to serve. This unjustifiable reversal of policy is devastating to these soldiers and harmful to our country. These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us. We can’t afford to lose a single one of them,” said Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project.

Open Society Award Recipient

National Center for Lesbian Rights has received several grants from the Open Society Foundation.[5],[6]

The Transgender Health Policy Collaborative, a joint project with the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights also received funding from the Open Society Foundation.[7]

Abortion Care Network

National Center for Lesbian Rights is an "ally organization"[8] associated with the Abortion Care Network, an organization funded by Open Society Foundation's Communities Against Hate initiative.

Abortion Care Network was awarded a grant for $70,000 over six months to "create a [national] network of social workers uniquely positioned to provide support to abortion providers."[9]

NCLR Staff, Board & Councils

The following is current as of August 10 2017:[10]






Board of Directors

National Advisory Council

National Leadership Council

National Family Law Advisory Council

#BornPerfect Advisory Committee


  1. Gay and Lesbian Rights: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition: A Reference ... By David E. Newton, accessed August 11 2017
  2. NCLR Earns It's Stripes at The Advocate, accessed August 11 2017
  3., accessed August 11 2017
  4. NCLR and GLAD File Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Transgender Military Ban, accessed August 11 2017
  5., accessed August 11 2017
  6., accessed August 11 2017
  7., accessed August 11 2017
  8. Ally Organizations, accessed July 23 2017
  9. Communities Against Hate: Front-Line Organizations, accessed July 23 2017
  10. NCLR Staff, Board & Councils, accessed August 10 2017