GLAD Statement on Fisher v. UT Austin
December 9, 2015 - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) joins a broad coalition of progressive allies in supporting the University of Texas-Austin today as it once again defends before the U.S. Supreme Court its holistic review of admissions candidates that allows for race-consciousness, among numerous other factors.
GLAD co-authored an amicus brief in support of UT-Austin along with the National Women's Law Center, Lambda Legal, and Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic with Mayer Brown LLP as lead counsel. The brief was written on behalf of 34 groups representing women, the LGBT community, and working people.
"We are one justice movement," said Mary L. Bonauto, GLAD's Civil Rights Project Director and co-author of the brief. "Every person is entitled to bring their whole self to every enterprise – and that's particularly critical in education. It defies reason to suggest that a black gay applicant could discuss his experiences as a gay man but not a person of color. It's a matter of dignity."
The brief focuses on social science data, and particularly looks at the interaction of biases experienced by people of color who are women and/or members of the LGBT community.
"Diversity on a college campus is critical to the civic health of our country," said Bonauto. "Meaningful contact and interactions with people unlike ourselves breaks down stereotypes, develops leadership skills, and expands cognitive abilities – for everyone. We know this not just from common sense and experience, but from research."
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.