GLAD’s Jennifer Levi and NCLR’s Shannon Minter are the two transgender attorneys leading the challenge to Trump’s transgender military ban. Both Levi and Minter have decades of LGBTQ legal experience.
Shannon Minter has served as NCLR Legal Director for nearly 20 years. NCLR is a national legal organization with offices in both San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and has been fighting for LGBTQ equality for more than four decades.
Minter argued and won the California marriage equality case in 2008 and was later part of the team of attorneys to win national marriage equality in the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges.
Minter was also NCLR’s lead attorney on the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court victory in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which found that student group policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity did not violate the freedom of speech, religion, or association.
Minter serves on the boards of Faith in America and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. He has previously served on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Minter received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1993. He is originally from Texas.
Jennifer Levi is the director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. Levi’s precedent-setting transgender rights cases include: O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (2010), which established that medical care relating to gender transition qualifies for a medical tax deduction; Adams v. Bureau of Prisons (2011), which successfully challenged a federal prison policy excluding medical care for transgender inmates who came into the system without a transition-related medical plan; and Doe v. Clenchy (2014), in which the first state high court ruled that a transgender girl must be fully integrated into her public elementary school as a girl, including having full and equal access to restrooms.
In Doe v. MA DOC, Levi currently represents an incarcerated transgender woman seeking to be transferred to a women’s correctional facility who is challenging the exclusion of transgender people from the protections of the American with Disabilities Act.
Levi was co-counsel in two landmark marriage equality cases, winning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Massachusetts (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 2003) and Connecticut (Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health, 2008), and recently secured a groundbreaking child-centered parentage ruling at the Vermont Supreme Court in Sinnott v. Peck (2017).
Levi is a law professor at Western New England University, co-editor of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy (2012), and serves on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and a former law clerk to the Honorable Judge Michael Boudin at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.