Feminist Founded. With a commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable, NCLR advances civil and human rights for LGBTQ individuals and their families through impact litigation, public policy and public education.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is the first national LGBTQ legal organization founded by women and brings a fierce, longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable.
NCLR is at the forefront of advancing the civil and human rights of our full LGBTQ community and their families through impact litigation, public policy, and public education. Decades ago, NCLR led the way by establishing the first LGBTQ Immigration Project, Transgender Rights Project, Youth Project, Elder Law Project, and began working to end conversion therapy through what is now the Born Perfect campaign.
In 1977, a brave and determined woman, fresh out of law school and eager to make a difference, decided to put her knowledge to good use. As a legal scholar, Donna Hitchens saw the courtroom as a way to change the world. As a lesbian, she had experienced frustrations and fears—both personal and professional—and didn’t want others to suffer the same. As a future parent, she knew she would face even more challenges ahead. The National Center for Lesbian Rights was born. Each year, NCLR shapes the legal landscape for all LGBTQ people and families across the nation through its precedent- setting litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. For more than three decades, NCLR has led historic cases, and it is still blazing trails in pursuit of justice, fairness, and legal protections for all LGBTQ people.
Mission: NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education.
What We Do: NCLR is a non-profit, public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial and appellate court levels; advocates for equitable public policies affecting the LGBTQ community; provides free legal assistance to LGBTQ people and their legal advocates; and conducts community education on LGBTQ issues.
Our Impact: NCLR’s legal, policy, and legislative victories set important precedents that improve the lives of all LGBTQ people and their families across the country. Our free legal assistance empowers individuals to assert their own legal rights. Our community and public education broadens public support for LGBTQ equality.
Projects and Legal Issue Areas Include: Asylum & Immigration; Elders; Employment; Family & Relationships; Federal Legislation & Policy; State Legislation & Policy; Hate Crimes; Healthcare; Housing; Low Income & Poverty; Prisons; Rural Communities; Sports; Transgender Law; and Youth.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a non-profit, public interest law firm in the United States that advocates for equitable public policies affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, provides free legal assistance to LGBT clients and their legal advocates, and conducts community education on LGBT legal issues. It is headquartered in San Francisco with a policy team in Washington, DC. It is the only organization in the United States dedicated to lesbian legal issues, and the largest national lesbian organization in terms of members.
Through impact litigation, public policy advocacy, public education, collaboration with other social justice organizations and activists, and direct legal services, the NCLR advances the legal and human rights of LGBT people and their families across the United States.
NCLR was founded as the Lesbian Rights Project in 1977 by Donna Hitchens and other members of Equal Rights Advocates. Roberta Achtenberg served as the second Executive Director.Kate Kendell served as Executive Director from 1996 to 2018. In December 2019, NCLR announced will be the next Executive Director, beginning March 2020. Cindy Myers is serving as ED in the interim.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102-3009 | Tax-exempt since May 1993
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.