LGBT advocacy group to launch new Washington office

LGBT advocacy group to launch new Washington office
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Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal advocacy group, will open a Washington, D.C., office to intensify its work against the Trump administration and increase fundraising, Politico reports. 

Sharon McGowan, previously a high-ranking attorney in the Obama Justice Department’s civil rights division, will lead the new office near the White House.

Lambda aims to raise an additional $25 million, and McGowan plans to hire a full team of attorneys and media specialists to aid in future civil rights campaigns.

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McGowan said while most civil rights-related fights with the Trump administration so far have not involved lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, she anticipates lobbying efforts being necessary in the future.

“Wherever we can sue,” she said, “we certainly will.” 

Widely known in the LGBT community for its prominent role in litigation efforts, Lambda hopes to further oppose the administration’s ongoing judicial appointments.

“This is what the beginning of the end of the courts looks like,” McGowan said. “If we don’t plant the flag and make it clear that nominees like this are beyond the pale, then we’re going to see more of the same.”

Rachel Tiven, Lambda Legal’s CEO, said the new Washington office will help the group focus on the courts, utilizing its significant court experience.

Tiven said that the group’s renewed fundraising efforts are gathering momentum, with 7,000 new donors who have given between $25 and $100,000 each after the presidential election.

Lambda will announce plans to increase its yearly operating budget from $19 million to $25 million at an event at the Newseum on Thursday night.

The increased funding will help expand the group’s new presence in Washington.

“We don’t dabble,” said Tiven. “It’s not an outpost. It’s a significant investment.”