October 25, 2018

The ABA is recognizing Ms. Eaton for her contributions to the advancement of LGBT individuals and issues.

Partner Mary Eaton has been selected to receive the American Bar Association’s 2019 Stonewall Award. Ms. Eaton is one of three individuals being recognized by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for her significant contributions to the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the legal profession, and/or to LGBT legal issues.

Ms. Eaton has led Willkie’s pro bono representations on numerous important cases, several of which have established key precedents in the areas of LGBT rights. Notably, she led Willkie’s representation, as co-counsel with The Legal Aid Society and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, of a class of transgender Medicaid recipients diagnosed with gender dysphoria (“GD”), challenging a New York State regulation that banned Medicaid coverage for transgender health care (Cruz v. Zucker). Cruz led to a repeal of the ban and an amended regulation, which required Medicaid coverage for all medically necessary health care for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria (GD). 

In 2017, Willkie lawyers led by Ms. Eaton filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court on behalf of various national education groups in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., challenging a Virginia public school district’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom conforming to their gender identity.

In addition, she drafted an amicus curie brief on behalf of 92 plaintiffs represented by Willkie attorneys in the U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges case in 2015. The amici included veterans, medical professionals and stay-at-home parents who had challenged the constitutionality of marriage bans of same-sex couples imposed by the 15 states in which they resided.

The Stonewall Award is scheduled to be presented in January 2019 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.

Read: New York lawyer and pro bono advocate Mary Eaton to receive Stonewall Award

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