Fried Frank's LGBT Attorney Affinity Group seeks to build upon the Firm's longstanding commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and to increasing understanding of and involvement in the unique issues facing the LGBT community. The Group spearheads several pro bono representation efforts of interest, from groundbreaking family law litigations involving same-sex couples to name-change petitions for transgender clients, and maintains strong relationships with important organizations like Lambda Legal Defense & Education Organization, Immigration Equality and Servicemembers United.
To honor the legacy of Michael Diehl, a Fried Frank corporate associate who died in a tragic swimming accident in 1999 and was known for his dedication to the cause of civil rights for the gay and lesbian community, the Firm established the annual Diehl Civil Rights Forum. Inviting prominent civic leaders to engage the Fried Frank community in a discussion of current civil rights and social justice issues and concerns since 2000 and hosted by our LGBT Attorney Affinity Group, the 2013 Forum, Litigating Love: Same-Sex Marriage and the Supreme Court in 2013, was designed in anticipation of the historic Supreme Court rulings in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The Forum featured attorneys who have been on the front lines of major cases fighting the denial of equal rights to same-sex couples, including George Chauncey, Chair, Department of History, Yale; Craig Benson, Counsel to Edie Windsor in connection with Windsor v. United States and Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; James Esseks, Counsel to Edie Windsor in connection with Windsor v. United States and Litigation Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) LGBT & AIDS Project; Susan Sommer, Counsel to Karen Golinski in connection with Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management and Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal; and Janson Wu, Counsel in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management and staff attorney at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
Fried Frank has also been recognized for six consecutive years by the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, achieving a top rating of 100 percent. The 2014 Corporate Equality Index rated 688 businesses on a scale from 0 to 100 percent on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors. Fried Frank’s perfect score reflects its policies and practices to protect LGBT employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, most notably diversity training, and health care and domestic partnership benefits, including tax gross-up benefits to LGBT employees for disparate tax costs related to their coverage of same-sex domestic partners, same-sex spouses and their children.
For more information on Fried Frank's LGBT Affinity Group, please contact:
Jesse R. Loffler
New York Office Leader
Marissa B. Wiley
New York Office Leader
Dwayne J. Bensing
Washington, DC Office Leader