by Caroline Cox
Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) sees the continuing fight for LGBT rights as a matter of basic constitutional fairness. In an interview with the ACS at the 2014 National Convention, Bonauto explained that opponents of same-sex marriage have not adhered to a basic principle of our democracy: “We all come to our government as equals, and the idea that you’re trying to put a thumb on a scale and disadvantage people just because of who they are is not acceptable.”
Bonauto is heralded by many as “the legal architect of the DOMA repeal,” and Barney Frank, the former Massachusetts congressman, once described her as “our Thurgood Marshall” due to her work for LGBT rights. She was instrumental in the 2009 campaign in Maine to pass marriage equality through the state legislature, but much of her work has focused on fighting for same-sex marriage in the court system. Indeed, Bonauto has been a leading force in a majority of marriage equality’s major moments.