Sullivan Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Urging the Supreme Court to Confirm that DOMA and California Proposition 8 are Unconstitutional

Press Release
February 28, 2013

Boston, MA – February 28, 2013 – Sullivan has filed in the United States Supreme Court a brief for its client and Amicus Curiae GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association). GLMA asks the high court to affirm the rulings of the Second Circuit and the Ninth Circuit holding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California Proposition 8, respectively, unconstitutional in the cases United States v. Windsor et al. (No. 12-307), and Hollingsworth, et al., v. Perry, et al., (No. 12-144). The brief addresses the role of immutability in Equal Protection Clause analysis, and spotlights the scientific and clinical evidence that sexual orientation is an innate human characteristic.  

Partner Nicholas M. O’Donnell is counsel of record for GLMA. Nick said about the brief “GLMA believes that to reinstate DOMA or Proposition 8 would be to persecute a group of Americans solely on the basis of sexual orientation, something about themselves that is fundamentally determined. For all citizens to enjoy the equal protection of law, none can be the target of the law for something inherent to their very humanity.” The Amicus brief cites decades of studies of sexual orientation establishing that genetic, hereditary, hormonal, and biological influences are major factors in determining sexual orientation, whereas the evidence cited by supporters of DOMA and Proposition 8 is either scientifically unreliable or, in many cases, actually makes GLMA’s point.

About GLMA
GLMA is the largest and oldest association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) healthcare and health professionals of all disciplines, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, behavioral health specialists and researchers. GLMA’s mission is to ensure equality in healthcare for LGBT individuals and healthcare professionals, using the medical and health expertise of GLMA members in public policy and advocacy, professional education, patient education and referrals, and the promotion of research.  Since 1981, GLMA’s mission has broadened to address the full range of health issues affecting LGBT people, including ensuring that all healthcare providers provide a welcoming environment to LGBT individuals and their families and are competent to address specific health disparities affecting LGBT people.

About Sullivan
Sullivan is a leading corporate law firm providing counsel to domestic and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 185 lawyers in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, securities, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax, real estate, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. Sullivan is also recognized for its representation of REITs and its deep experience in mutual fund law. For more information please visit

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