The Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association (LGLA), formerly known as Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), was founded in 1979 by Susan McGreivy, whose work at the The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center inspired her idea for a gay lawyers group that could advocate for the rights of community members, and Ray Hatler, who did most of the initial organizing and served as the organisation's first president. Their first meeting took place in the Old Spaghetti Factory on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The organization emerged, in part, as a consequence of battles over Proposition 6, also known as the Briggs Initiative, which sought to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in California. The organization would go on to be involved in numerous cases and legislative initiatives that responded to employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community and people with HIV/AIDS, including Assembly Bill 101, a bill that was proposed in 1991, during the height of the AIDS crisis, that sought to outlaw job discrimination against gays and lesbians. The bill was vetoed by Governor Pete Wilson, igniting a backlash from the LGBT community that eventually led to the passage of another anti-discrimination bill, Assembly Bill 2601 in 1992.
During this same period, the Lawyers for Human Rights adopted a transitional title, Lawyers for Human Rights: The Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, that's aim was to celebrate the new freedoms gained by gays and lesbians over the previous decade and to better represent the organisation's membership and goals. In October 2002, at its 21st Annual Dinner, the organization adopted its current name, the Lesbian and Gay Lawyer's Association, a move that was seen as a final "coming out" for the organization.
Today, the organisation's primary activities include making judicial endorsements, writing amicus briefs, participating in the Los Angeles County Bar Association and State Bar Association Conferences, and providing education, networking, and social opportunities for LGBT lawyers. Regular events include their Annual Anniversary Dinner, events at the Hollywood Bowl, the Summer Associates Reception, and networking opportunities with other LGBT organizations.
Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Records, Coll2012-183, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
"History: Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles," http://www.lgla.net/lgla/about/ (last accessed January 22, 2013).