A Glimpse into the Fight for Equality

Following last week’s Skype video call during which two students in Mr. Stone’s AP U.S. Government and Politics class interviewed Jane Swift (former State Senator and Governor of Massachusetts) for their final project, Monday’s virtual guest was Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Director at GLAD: GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. Junior Celine Chen interviewed Ms. Bonauto, also via Skype. 
A passionate litigator in the state and federal courts of New England, Ms. Bonauto has fought for free speech, religious liberty, relationship recognition, parent rights, and a variety of discrimination cases. In fact, she served as lead counsel in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which made Massachusetts the first state where same-sex couples could legally marry in 2004.
When asked why she chose to be a lawyer and her motivation to fight for the rights of gay and lesbian individuals, Ms. Bonauto’s answer was clear: “I always had the inclination to help the underdog, and I knew I had to work in a field where I could make a difference on a broader level.” She went on to discuss how being personally harassed and how difficult it was for her to come out only fueled her determination to move the dial where no one is "an other”. “Changing the law also means changing people’s hearts and minds.”
Founded in 1978, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders is a non-profit legal rights organization in the United States. The organization works to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

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Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.