Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund has named Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel in its Los Angeles-based Western Regional Office, as director of its national marriage project.
Pizer succeeds former Marriage Project Director David Buckel, who left Lambda Legal at the end of November.
"Anyone familiar with the fight for marriage equality already is familiar with Jenny’s work," said Lambda Legal’s Legal Director Jon Davidson. "She’s been deeply engaged for 13 years here at Lambda Legal and especially the past five years of intensive litigation in Washington state and California, including last May’s historic California Marriage Cases victory and now as co-counsel in the Strauss v. Horton challenge to Prop 8. Jenny’s expertise and passion make this a perfect fit."
In addition to her marriage work, Pizer has handled cases to advance domestic partner protections and the rights of lesbian and gay parents, and to end sexual orientation discrimination in health care, employment, education and housing, Davidson said.
He said she also often advises policymakers on protecting same-sex couples and their families, co-drafted California’s broad domestic partnership law, and is a leading voice for LGBT family equality in academic and public settings and to the media.
Pizer is currently co-counsel in the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 on grounds that it thwarts constitutional guarantees of equal protection by voiding same-sex couples’ right to marry, something that requires more than a simple majority vote to accomplish. She is a 1982 graduate of Harvard College and 1987 graduate of New York University School of Law.
"We obviously have turned a corner in our fight for equal treatment of LGBT people and our families," said Pizer. "This past summer, our nation saw again that lesbian and gay couples share the same joy when exchanging vows, and have the same loving support of family and friends, as heterosexuals do. Despite an appallingly deceitful campaign to re-impose anti-gay discrimination, Prop 8 only passed by a slim margin. Now, the post-election protests show understanding coast to coast that it’s time to end this hurtful, senseless discrimination.
"I’m honored to help lead this movement about love, commitment and true family values as it blossoms ever more fully in California, New York and all points in between, including Iowa," Pizer added.