COURTING FAVOR

Department Of Justice Honors LGBT Teens, Trans Attorney At Pride Ceremony

There’s finally a little justice in the world: This week Attorney General Eric Holder honored both a member of the Department of Justice and young high schoolers for standing up for the gay community.

Holder was on hand when DOJ Pride, the department’s LGBT-employees group, presented awards at the Department of Justice’s annual Pride month ceremony to students from the Anoka-Hennepin School District and Diana Flynn, Chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Appellate Section.

The night’s theme was “The Power of Out,” named for a recent study of the same name that calculated the damage to the workplace when management fail to create a gay-friendly environment. Attendees enjoyed a performance of a scene from 8, Dustin Lance Black‘s dramatization of the Prop 8 trial.

Receiving the Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award were six Anoka-Hennepin students who successfully sued over a policy of “neutrality” that essentially barred teachers and administrators from providing support to bullied gay kids. (The legal teams from the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota were also honored for their efforts.)

Flynn, who is trans, was given the James R. Douglass Award for raising awareness about issues facing LGBT employees in the DoJ. A longtime member of the Civil Rights Division, Flynn has also helped to influence the department’s approach to LGBT legal issues.

“Thanks to the advocates, activists, and attorneys in this room—and all across the country—we have made meaningful, once-unimaginable progress in recent years.  And we come together at an exciting moment,”  said Holder. “Here at the Justice Department, we can all be proud of the robust efforts that are underway to combat discrimination—in all its forms–in every community, every workplace, and every school.”