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Cases: Massachusetts

Baker v. Diocese of Worcester et al.


GLAD and the ACLU of Massachusetts have submitted an amicus memorandum of law to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination  in the case of Colby A. Baker v. Diocese of Worcester et al. 

The case involves… Read More →

ASGCC v. Town of Barnstable


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has agreed to hear this landmark syringe access case. GLAD and AIDS Action Committee filed a brief on behalf of appelants AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod on November… Read More →

Doe v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company


GLAD has filed a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court charging that Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company discriminated when it denied a gay man long term care insurance because he is taking Truvada. Truvada, a form of PrEP… Read More →

Cote v. Walmart


Jacqueline Cote and Walmart Announce Class Settlement Over Health Insurance Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses of Walmart Associates

BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2016  -- Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion today asking the… Read More →

Barrett v Fontbonne Academy

Victory • 2016

Victory! In a first-of-its-kind decision, the Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled that Fontbonne Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school, discriminated against Matthew Barrett on the basis of sexual orientation and sex when it rescinded its… Read More →

Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al.

Victory • 2013

June 26, 2013 U.S. Supreme Court rules DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional in Windsor v. United States

For complete details about this case, the plaintiffs,and all legal documents, visit

August 2, 2012 – GLAD filed… Read More →

Todd Elia-Warnken v. Richard Elia

Victory • 2012

July 26, 2012 - Victory! The MA Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor our our client, Richard Elia, stating that “a Vermont civil union must be dissolved prior to either party entering into a marriage… Read More →

Kosilek v. O’Brien (formerly Spencer)


May 4, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case. The denial marks the end of the road legally in Kosilek’s lengthy struggle to receive appropriate care while in prison. “This is… Read More →

Partanen v. Gallagher

Victory • 2016

Victory! On October 4, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued a decision in Partanen v. Gallagher, declaring that Karen Partanen, a non-birth mother, can be a legal parent to the two children she… Read More →

Held v. Colvin

Victory • 2016

Victory! As a result, in part, of this suit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a new policy that provides a significant win for individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits who… Read More →

Bradford v. Group Insurance Commission

Victory • 2014

Update November 14, 2014 - Victory! This matter has been settled and Bradford will now be able to receive coverage for gender reassignment surgery.

GLAD has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against… Read More →

In re Wambere

Victory • 2014

Update November 26, 2014: John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere received a letter from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services informing him that his application for asylum has been fully approved.

September 11, 2014: John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere has been recommended… Read More →

In re Rikki Bates

Victory • 2014

GLAD represents Rikki in her appeal to MassHealth after they denied her request for coverage of transition-related care.  We were awaiting the outcome of an April 15 hearing when, on June 20, Massachusetts… Read More →

M.L. v. S.N.

Amicus • 2014

GLAD submitted an amicus letter to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court addressing the admissibility of explicit sexual photographs in a suit brought by a man against his former romantic partner for intentional infliction of… Read More →

Town of Hanover v. New England Regional Council of Carpenters

Victory • 2014

GLAD joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM), the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Massachusetts Fair Wage Campaign (MFWC) on an amicus brief submitted to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in this… Read More →

A.E.H. v. M.R.

Victory • 2012

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously September 28, 2012 that Massachusetts must recognize other states’ parallel spousal statuses for same-sex couples, such as California registered domestic partnerships. Under the ruling, both spouses are the… Read More →

O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Victory • 2010

Victory! On February 2, 2010, the U.S. Tax Court issued an important decision in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, ruling for the first time that treatment for gender identity disorder qualifies as medical care… Read More →

Dixit v. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Settled • 2010

GLAD negotiated a successful settlement on behalf of our client after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care refused to cover treatment for the severe lipodystrophy he developed as a result of taking anti-HIV medication.

When Amit Dixit… Read More →

Shaw v. Murphy

Victory • 2008

On February 19, 2008, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Ashley Shaw, who has sought to get MassHealth to cover her medically necessary HIV-related surgery. When Ashley was 15, her doctors recommended… Read More →

Parker v. Hurley

Victory • 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on January 31, 2008 unanimously affirmed District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by two sets of parents against the Lexington school… Read More →

Schulman v. Reilly

Loss • 2006

GLAD filed this lawsuit to challenge the Attorney General’s decision that a proposed ballot question that would once again exclude same-sex couples from marriage satisfies the Massachusetts constitution.  The suit was filed on January 3,… Read More →

Cote-Whitacre et al. v. Dept. Public Health

Victory • 2006

On March 30, 2006, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court determined in the absence of a home state’s “express prohibition” against marriage by same-sex couples – through a constitutional amendment, statute, or controlling appellate decision, Massachusetts… Read More →

C. J. Doyle v. Goodridge

Victory • 2005

One of a barrage of actions filed early in 2004 to prevent the implementation of Goodridge on May 17, 2004, this action sought a further stay of Goodridge until the constitutional amendment process could be… Read More →

Netherland et al. v. Whiteman et al.

Settled • 2005

GLAD is putting the right-wing on notice that they cannot use intimidation tactics to try to stop vitally important sex education information from getting to young people. In violation of Massachusetts wiretapping and privacy laws,… Read More →

T.F. v. B.L.

Loss • 2004

GLAD represented T.F., a biological mother seeking child support from her former partner, B.F. The two had decided together to have a child, with both agreeing to be parents and raise the child together. The… Read More →

Commonwealth v. Smith

Loss • 2003

In 2000, GLAD filed a brief in a Middlesex Superior Court criminal action on behalf of a person with HIV who had been charged by Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley with assault with intent to… Read More →

Goodridge et al. v. Dept. Public Health

Victory • 2003

In a historic opinion on November 18, 2003, GLAD won a ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that gay and lesbian couples can no longer be excluded from civil marriage rights in Massachusetts.  GLAD… Read More →

Albano v. Reilly et al

Victory • 2002

In Albano et al v. Reilly et al, GLAD challenged the propriety of the Attorney General’s certification of the ballot initiative.  GLAD’s claim was based on the sweeping nature of the amendment.  GLAD claimed that… Read More →

Commonwealth v. Landry

Victory • 2002

In a major victory for public health programs that stem the tide of HIV and hepatitis C, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled on December 6, 2002 that needle exchange program participants may lawfully possess needles… Read More →

Proposed “Protection of Marriage” Constitutional Amendment

Victory • 2002

Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Opinion
In a last ditch attempt to revive the measure before it was to die on December 31, 2002 at midnight, Edward Pawlick, the founder of MCM and the primary… Read More →

GLAD et al. v. Attorney General Thomas Reilly et al

Victory • 2002

GLAD won a declaration from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that neither of the state’s sodomy laws applies to private, adult, consensual conduct.  GLAD filed suit on behalf of itself and several individual gay and… Read More →

Jette v. Honey Farms

Victory • 2001

One of two landmark rulings issued in October 2001, in which the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination drew on GLAD legal analysis to rule that transgender people are covered by state non-discrimination laws prohibiting sex and… Read More →

Muzzy v. Cahillane Motors, Inc.

Victory • 2001

GLAD was instrumental in winning a decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that personal information about a plaintiff, such as sexual orientation, may not be introduced in court for the purpose of perpetuating negative… Read More →

Ayer v. Sommi & Keller

Victory • 2001

GLAD was instrumental in obtaining a favorable ruling from the Massachusetts Appeals Court that domestic violence laws protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual people as well as heterosexuals.  The first same-sex domestic violence case to reach… Read More →

Millett v. Lutco

Victory • 2001

One of two landmark rulings issued in October 2001, in which the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination drew from GLAD legal analysis to rule that transgender people are covered by state non-discrimination laws prohibiting sex and… Read More →

In re R. C.

Victory • 2001

GLAD ensured that an incarcerated gay man who was violently attacked and raped by another inmate was able to press charges, despite attempts to obstruct justice by homophobic prison officials.  Prison officials initially dismissed R.C.’s… Read More →

Dahill v. Boston Police Department

Victory • 2001

In this case, in May 2001, the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations against individuals whose disability has been corrected or mitigated by medications or… Read More →

Doe v. Kelley (State Police)

Victory • 2001

As a result of the settlement of a GLAD case against the Massachusetts State Police, a General Order was issued that “officers should not order someone to leave a public area in the absence of… Read More →

Doe v. Managed Care Organization

Victory • 2001

In the first legal ruling of its kind in the country, GLAD prevailed in an action to cover the cost of a life-saving liver transplant for a Medicaid recipient with both HIV and end-stage liver… Read More →

Doe v. MetLife Disability Insurance and Raytheon

Victory • 2001

GLAD, with co-counsel Stephen Rosenfeld and Mala Rafik, won the restoration of disability insurance benefits when an insurer wrongfully terminated coverage for a client with HIV who remained too debilitated by advanced HIV and significant… Read More →

Jane Doe v. Roe Moving Company

Victory • 2001

GLAD won a favorable settlement in a case filed at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) against a central Massachusetts moving company that refused to provide moving services to a mother and her son, upon… Read More →

In the Matter of Jane Doe

Victory • 2000

In response to an assault against a lesbian student by a number of her peers at a Western Massachusetts high school, GLAD secured the school’s agreement to do mandatory teacher and student trainings to ensure… Read More →

Rosa v. Park West Bank

Victory • 2000

In a precedent-setting decision with major implications for the business community, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit confirmed that sex discrimination laws reach situations where individuals are discriminated against because of… Read More →

Beger v. Division of Medical Assistance

Victory • 2000

In this case, a Superior Court in Suffolk County ordered the state of Massachusetts to pay for a surgical procedure it had denied to a transsexual woman, but would have provided to a non-transsexual woman. … Read More →

Commonwealth v. Ortiz

Victory • 2000

A single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion strongly affirming the absolute privacy of a person’s HIV status under Massachusetts law. In this case, in which GLAD filed a friend of the… Read More →

Doe v. Board of Registration of Cosmetology

Victory • 2000

GLAD obtained clarification from the Board of Registration of Cosmetology that an individual completing a cosmetology program does not fail the statutory requirement to be certified as free from infectious diseases simply by virtue of… Read More →

Doe and Doe v. Department of Social Services

Victory • 2000

GLAD negotiated an agreement with the Department of Social Services that it was an error for the Department to allow only HIV-positive children to be placed in foster care with an HIV-positive couple.

Read More →

Doe v. Yunits

Victory • 2000

GLAD obtained a landmark ruling, in the first reported decision ever in a case brought by a transgender student, that a middle school may not prohibit a transgender student from expressing her female gender identity. … Read More →

Connors v. City of Boston

Loss • 1999

In a disappointing decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down an Executive Order issued by Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, granting health insurance benefits to registered domestic partners of city employees, thus constraining the City… Read More →

Crandall v. Boston Concession Group

Victory • 1999

GLAD won a ruling that Massachusetts non-discrimination law applies equally to every employee of Massachusetts companies, even if the employee works out-of-state.  GLAD represented two women from Maine who worked in Maine and were essentially… Read More →

Jason H. v. Boston Public Schools

Victory • 1999

Representing a Boston student subjected to peer harassment, GLAD negotiated a settlement that includes system-wide training and information regarding sexual orientation and the appointment of a support person in every school.

Read More →

Carr v. New England Medical Center

Victory • 1999

GLAD won a favorable settlement on behalf of a gay man denied sperm banking and transport services simply because he is gay and assumed to be at “high risk” for HIV.

Read More →

Doe v. Roe Hospital

Victory • 1999

GLAD successfully resolved a lawsuit against a hospital that violated the HIV testing and confidentiality statute by revealing a patient’s HIV status to his employer.

Read More →

E.N.O. v. L.M.M.

Victory • 1999

In a landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a non-biological lesbian mother, who helped raise her son from his birth, is a de facto parent with the right to seek visitation.  GLAD… Read More →

Gagne v. Holyoke Health Center and Dr. George Abraham

Victory • 1999

GLAD won a favorable settlement on behalf of Erica Gagne, who was denied treatment by Dr. Abraham of the Holyoke Health Center after she identified herself as a lesbian.  Ms. Gagne, who went to the… Read More →

Gavann v. Douglas Wooldridge, M.D.

Victory • 1996

GLAD obtained a $10,000 judgment in Suffolk Superior Court against a surgeon who illegally tested a patient for HIV without his knowledge or consent.

Read More →

Commonwealth v. Kelly


GLAD has joined the Anti-Defamation League, MassEquality, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, and Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association in an amicus… Read More →

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Individual Complainant v. The R.O.S.E. Fund, Inc


The GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project (GLBTQ-DVP) and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) pursued this complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) on behalf of a gay male survivor of domestic violence who was… Read More →