Ria Tabacco Mar (@RiaTabaccoMar) is the Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, where she oversees the ACLU’s women’s rights litigation.
Previously, she was a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project, where she fought gender stereotypes, sex segregation, and attempts to use religion to discriminate in schools, at work, and in public places. Ria was part of the ACLU’s litigation team representing Aimee Stephens and Don Zarda, whose cases were decided as part of the recent Supreme Court ruling recognizing that federal employment law protections apply to LGBTQ people. She also led the ACLU’s team in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case in which a same-sex couple was refused a wedding cake because they are gay.
Ria is a frequent commentator on gender justice issues, appearing on television programs including All In with Chris Hayes, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, and PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, and has authored opinion pieces for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets.
Ria has been recognized on The Root 100 annual list of the most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45 and as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Ria served as Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and as a judicial law clerk to Judge Julia Smith Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and to Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ria graduated from New York University School of Law and Harvard College.