Mary Bonauto Coming to Waynflete on January 21

As the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD’s) Civil Rights Project Director since 1990, Mary has litigated on discrimination issues, free speech and religious liberty, and relationship and parental rights. In 2015 she successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the historic case Obergefell v. Hodges, establishing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide.

With Vermont co-counsel, Mary won 1999’s Baker v. State ruling leading to the nation’s first civil union law.  She was lead counsel in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003), which made Massachusetts the first state where same-sex couples could marry, co-counseled in Kerrigan v. Connecticut DPH, and served on the 2009 and 2012 Maine ballot campaign executive committees.

Mary led GLAD’s challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, Gill and Pedersen, leading to the first federal District and Appeals Court victories against DOMA, and coordinated amici briefs for Windsor at the Supreme Court.  As a member of the legal team in the Michigan marriage case DeBoer v. Snyder, she became the Supreme Court oralist on behalf of the plaintiffs in Obergefell.

Mary holds a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, is the Shikes Fellow in Civil Liberties and Civil Rights and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, and is currently on an advisory board for the American Constitution Society.

Mary graduated from Hamilton College and Northeastern University School of Law. She lives in Portland with her spouse and their two children.

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