Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Federal Bar Assn makes history with LGBT section
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Last year, the Federal Bar Association carved its own place in LGBT history with the formation of a law section specifically for that demographic.

Since then, the LGBT Law Section has held various events to increase membership and visibility. The current chair is Chirag Badlani, of the Chicago firm Hughes Socol Piers Rensick & Dym, Ltd. He recently talked with Windy City Times about the organization and its mission.

Windy City Times: Tell me how the LGBT Law Section came about.

Chirag Badlani: It was about two years ago. The Federal Bar Association, or FBA, serves to strengthen the practice of law for those who practice in the federal courts, which distinguishes it from other bar associations. It's also unique in that it has government attorneys, judges and private practitioners all in one bar association together to address legal issues, topics and challenges.

A number of people started suggesting that there should be an LGBT voice within the organization not only to substantively address LGBT issues but also to have a place where people who identify as LGBT can have a community within the FBA. The first chair was Danny Weiss, out of New Jersey, headed the law section in 2016. Since then, we've been working to increase our visibility and is looking to grow.

WCT: I read the FBA began in 1920. Out of curiosity, why did it take so long for an LGBT section to be established?

CB: That's a good question. One reason may be that we, as lawyers, are not singularly focused on one organization so it be that some people within the FBA who identify as LGBT were members of other bar associations or LGBT groups.

I came to the FBA and was excited to hear about this section and help it grow. [The late formation] had nothing to do with malice or anything like that; it was felt that this could be a benefit for the organization. The FBA is really diverse in terms of geography and practice area; there are chapters all over the country.

WCT: What has this particular organization done so far?

CB: So far, we've focused on growing and making ourselves more visible. Through partnerships with others, we've put on a few events. There have been panels in New Orleans, for example, on some of the religious-freedom issues. We hosted, in April, a diversity forum in which LGBT issues in federal courts were discussed, such as workplace-discrimination issues. In the future, we're looking to have some networking events; in the next month or so, we're planning on having an event in Southern California.

WCT: Just so our readers are clear on this, who is eligible to join?

CB: So, you have to first a member of the Federal Bar Association itself, and that membership is open to members of the legal community, so lawyers, judges, government attorneys and private practitioners who want to strengthen their practice in the federal system. We're welcoming to those who identify as LGBT, those who identify as LGBT allies and people who want to learn more about LGBT issues.

WCT: So does the section issue press releases on issues like President Trump's controversial tweet banning transgender people from the military? Are you all prohibited from doing anything like that because of the federal connection?

CB: We're actually not a government entity. It's interesting. Take immigration, for example; it includes government attorneys who are often on the other side of private attorneys, but they come together as part of the FBA to understand current issues and each other.

In our section, we're a little unique. We not saying, "Hey, we're going to address both sides of the issue and hear the perspective of those who want to discriminate against us." That's not part of our mission. Our mission is to understand how we can educate people about LGBT issues. We're not necessarily an advocacy organization like Lambda Legal and the ACLU, who have done amazing work. But we would educate about how damaging it is to prevent LGBT folks from openly serving in the military.

WCT: So you wouldn't have a forum in which there are people who feel what he is proposing is fine?

CB: So, we're not opposed to hearing the other side, but we don't feel bound to have equal representation of the other side, either. It's more, like, "Hey—this is an issue that affects our membership and the LGBT community, and we're going to educate as to why that might be problematic."

WCT: There can be a thin line between education and advocacy.

CB: Yeah, I think that is right. We don't purport to be an organization that represents that clientele, but we're a member-driven section of an organization. We're not looking to change the structure of the FBA as a whole. We're hoping that, by our very presence, that we create an understanding of the issues affecting the LGBT community within the federal legal aspect.

WCT: How did you get involved in law?

CB: I was working with the City of New York in urban planning. I saw a lot of how government policy can affect communities, and I wanted to understand how that dynamic worked and how I could improve the lives of people in the community. Also, after I came out ( right after college ), I wanted to know how I could help the LGBT community—and I wanted to move forward in a meaningful way. In law school, I discovered I had a passion for civil rights. I do LGBT-discrimination work and immigrant-rights work as well.

More information about the LGBT Law Section is at FedBar.org/Sections/LGBT-Law-Section_1.aspx .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PFLAG conference Nov. 10 in suburb 2018-10-17 - The PFLAG Council of Northern Illinois is hosting a day-long PFLAG Conference on Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Southminster Presbyterian Church, ...


Gay News

Attorney General Lisa Madigan opposes HUD's suspension of fair housing rule 2018-10-17 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 16 other attorneys general, today urged the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( ...


Gay News

Gay juror recounts Van Dyke trial experience 2018-10-17 - Early in September, Chicagoan Will Harpest was reading a New York Times article about Mayor Rahm Emanuels' decision not to run for re-election. ...


Gay News

First out gay male Chicago police officer on family, career, volunteering 2018-10-17 - Retired Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) officer Ronald Bogan saw it all during his three decades on the force. This includes a ...


Gay News

WORLD Another bakery case, Austrian marriage, Mapplethorpe situation 2018-10-16 - Britain's highest court ruled that a Northern Irish bakery's refusal to make a cake bearing a pro-gay slogan was not discriminatory in a ...


Gay News

Smithsonian Receives Matthew Shepard Collection 2018-10-16 - The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will receive a donation of papers and personal objects from Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents ...


Gay News

2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment launches 2018-10-11 - CHICAGO — Wednesday, October 17 marks the beginning of the data collection period for the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, conducted by ...


Gay News

Panel focuses on LGBTQ domestic violence stigmas 2018-10-10 - Center on Halsted ( the Center ) and the UN Women Chicago chapter hosted a panel discussion, "Cultural Stigma of LGBTQ Domestic Violence," ...


Gay News

'Trans 101' forum Oct. 11 in Loop 2018-10-10 - The forum "Trans 101: Laws and Policies Affecting The Transgender Community" will take place Thursday, Oct. 11, 4-5:30 p.m., at Hinshaw & Culbertson ...


Gay News

Two Cook County judges reassigned 2018-10-10 - Pursuant to action taken by the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Circuit Judge Mauricio Araujo and Associate Judge Richard ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.