The Minnesota Lavender Bar Association (MLBA) is the primary Association of attorneys in Minnesota supporting the LGBTQ+ Community. The MLBA was founded in 1996 as a special project of OutFront Minnesota’s Legal Program. The Association was started in response to the limited opportunities for LGBTQ+ lawyers and law students to network, learn together, and address homophobia within the profession. The MLBA was reorganized in 1999 as an independent, 501(c)(6), organization, and is an affiliate member of the National LGBT Bar Association.
Since then, the MLBA has successfully worked in collaboration with other organizations to expand LGBTQ+ equality. Some of these efforts include successfully challenging Minnesota’s “sodomy” law alongside the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, filing amicus curiae briefs challenging sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in federal and state court, and lobbying against attempts to amend Minnesota’s Constitution to ban the legal recognition of same sex couples. The MLBA continues to advocate for fairness and equality for all Minnesota citizens through its partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and bar associations, its success being due to the volunteering efforts of MLBA members and its board of directors.
The MLBA is an active and dynamic organization that builds community between members through quality educational programs, networking opportunities, and social events. The MLBA proudly supports LGBTQ+ and allied efforts that promote equality and diversity in hopes of creating a community supportive of all professionals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.