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Lambda Legal was founded in 1973 as the first legal organization in the United States dedicated to achieving full equality for lesbian and gay people. Its mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Lambda Legal grew from a group of volunteers working out of a spare room in New York City to an expert staff of more than 100 in five offices around the country—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas.

In 1972, Lambda Legal became its own first client when the state of New York denied its application to incorporate the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund as a nonprofit corporation. ...

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