Equality & Justice Award
Lynn is a 1980 graduate of St. Olaf College with a B.A. English/Education and a 1983 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law.
After 10 years working at West Publishing, a small law firm and as a solo, Lynn became Legal Services Manager at the Minnesota AIDS Project in 1995 just prior to the major medical breakthrough with protease inhibitors in 1996. This meant a lot of end of life work primarily with in the gay community. With medical advances the legal issues experienced by people living with HIV also evolved. Stigma and discrimination; privacy, and other individual rights became more dominant as well as disability and its aftermath: debt. Before the ban was lifted, MAP legal volunteers created the template for a successful HIV Waiver and the program helped hundreds of HIV-positive immigrants enter and remain in the U.S. As Legal Services manager, she is responsible for direct client services and managing volunteer attorneys and law students. Hundreds of volunteers have helped contributed greatly to the success of MAP’s services. Lynn has mentored 4-8 law students each year since 1995, many part of the LGBTQ community and all Allies.
During her tenure, she has presented at numerous conferences and community forums addressing issues effecting people with HIV including estate and disability planning, social security disability, privacy, and the criminalization of HIV.
Lynn has authored chapters for MN CLE Advising the Disadvantaged and Minnesota Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families Deskbook. She’s worked with volunteers to author three amicus briefs to the Minnesota Supreme Court and Federal District Court, the most recent being in the State v. Rick case involving consensual sex between two gay men, dealing with HIV criminalization.
The program has hosted two Equal Justice Fellows. With the leadership of Suzanne Born and fellow Caroline Palmer MAP was able to pass the Standby Custody law.
Outside of law, after coming out (after law school!) in 1984, Lynn conducted numerous H101 or “meet the lesbian” presentations to raise awareness and compassion for our community. She was national co-chair of Lutherans Concerned/North America (predecessor to Reconciling Works) from 1990-1996, an advocacy organization working for LGBT inclusion in Lutheran Churches. From 1995-2005 she served on the board in various capacities and as staff for Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries another national organization that credentialed openly gay and lesbian clergy and provided support (financial and other) to congregations who called them to be pastors in violation of ELCA rules (the most prominent local example is Rev. Anita Hill).
Lynn has been happily partnered with the amazing Sherry Kilburn for 20 years. They live in St. Paul and are the proud parents of rescues: Captain Longfellow the basset hound and one-eyed Jack Joseph the “who knows what”. No, they are not getting a third dog and naming it Sparrow as has been suggested, or changing Jack’s name to Tennille.