Freedom for All Americans Announces Chief Counsel Jon Davidson

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 11.23.12 PM.pngWASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Freedom for All Americans and Freedom for All Americans Education Fund announced LGBTQ movement lawyer Jon Davidson as the newest addition to its growing team working to secure explicit and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide.Davidson has been one of the nation’s leading lawyers fighting for LGBTQ civil rights for more than 30 years. Most recently, he served for 12 years as national legal director of Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest and oldest legal organization committed to winning and preserving the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those living with HIV. In that role, he was the architect of Lambda’s national legal strategy, supervising 31 attorneys and 16 policy advocates and additional staff in the organization’s six offices across the country. In total, he spent more than two decades at Lambda Legal.

“Jon Davidson has long been one of the nation’s most talented lawyers working on LGBTQ rights and it’s difficult to overstate his contributions to legal advancements for our community,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “At this critical juncture where Justice Kennedy has announced his retirement and the future legal landscape on LGBTQ equality is uncertain, we need nothing less than the best team to retain the wins we’ve made and to pave a way forward. Jon Davidson has a proven track record and we are thrilled to have him join us and hit the ground running.”

Davidson has worked on a broad range of LGBT and HIV-related legal and policy matters throughout his career, including being co-counsel in the cases that brought the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in California, Nevada, Virginia and then the entire nation; and that strengthened nondiscrimination protections for employees, students, consumers, families, prisoners, and immigrants. A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, he previously was a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California and a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella. He was honored with the National LGBT Bar Association’s highest award in 2010. He has taught courses on LGBT rights, constitutional law, youth law, and pretrial civil litigation at UCLA Law School, the USC Law Center, Loyola Law School, and the former Whittier Law School.

“The ability of LGBTQ people to live free from discrimination is and must remain a cornerstone of the Constitution, the American dream, and the highest values that our nation stands for,” said Jon Davidson, Chief Counsel at Freedom for All Americans. “My role at Freedom for All Americans is the perfect next chapter for me to continue doing essential work that ensures all of us, including LGBTQ people, can go about our lives with dignity and respect. The team at FFAA has the expertise and strategy it will take to win, and I’m honored to join them and do what I can to help drive their roadmap to success.”

Davidson’s hire comes at a critical time for LGBTQ rights. Last week, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court after serving for more than 30 years. Kennedy played a major role in virtually every landmark case involving LGBTQ equality during his time on the bench, most notably by authoring the majority opinion in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, which extended the freedom to marry to same-sex couples nationwide. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, reversing a lower court’s decision in favor of a same-sex couple on case-specific grounds while affirming the importance of LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws. For a comprehensive look at pending litigation related to LGBTQ nondiscrimination, visit FFAA’s Litigation Tracker at https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/litigation-tracker/.

In his role at Freedom for All Americans, Davidson will oversee the organization’s work to advance long-term strategic thinking that achieves proactive court victories; provide free advice, mentoring, and assistance to private attorneys working on key cases related to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination; consult on friend-of-the-court briefs in precedent-setting LGBTQ rights appeals; and develop model policies and analyses of federal and state legislative proposals affecting equal treatment for LGBTQ people. For more information about FFAA’s full team of leading campaign strategists, communications professionals, and movement veterans, visit https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/about/team/.

Posted by @MelanieNathan1


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