Lila Downs

100 WOMEN WE LOVE 2008

Jennifer Pizer


Jennifer Pizer has a lot to celebrate. As senior council for Lambda Legal, she was on the legal team that helped overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. She’ll remember May 15, 2008 (the date of the historic ruling) for years to come. “You come so close and you see the judges getting it better,” she says of her years pushing for marriage rights in California and other states. “So when the decision actually came down, I couldn’t really grasp it. The emotional reaction is so powerful—a mixture of euphoria and elation and then there is this wave of validation.” In 2003, Pizer co-wrote the state’s domestic partnership law and has consulted with lawmakers in other states that are considering similar measures. She’s also represented LGBT individuals in medical care, child custody and employment discrimination cases. “We’re making these changes happen,” she says. “They’re not happening on their own.” –LL



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