The National LGBT Bar Association recently announced the recipients of its inaugural Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 Award, and we're happy to note that two ACLU attorneys are among that select group. Christine Sun, senior counsel for the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project since 2005, has many gay rights accomplishments under her belt in her short career. She was lead attorney in Nguon v. Wolf, the Southern California case that led to the federal court ruling that a high school student cannot be "outed" to her parents without her consent. Christine was also counsel on Chandler v. Barker which recently struck down a Tennessee family court practice in divorce cases of prohibiting the same-sex partner of a parent from staying the night when the children are present in their home. Most recently, Christine represented Constance McMillen in her successful litigation against the rural Mississippi school district that refused to let her bring her girlfriend to the prom and then cancelled the prom when told they had to.
Sharon McGowan is currently working in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice but worked for five years for the ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project beginning in August of 2004. Sharon's primary legal achievement has been as lead counsel in Schroer v. Library of Congress. Sharon's vigorous representation of former Special Forces veteran Diane Schroer led to groundbreaking legal precedent that refusing to hire someone because he or she is transitioning violates the federal civil rights law banning discrimination based on sex. Schroer was awarded nearly $500,000 to compensate her for the discrimination, which included the maximum the federal judge was permitted to award for emotional distress damages.
We're very proud of Christine and Sharon for this award and their many accomplishments.