The American Civil Liberties Union has appointed noted gay rights attorney Christine Sun to lead the American Civil Liberties Union’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights work in the south. Sun, who has worked on GLBT and AIDS issues for the ACLU in California since 2004, will work out of the ACLU of Tennessee’s office in Nashville.

“We are excited to have Christine spearhead our GLBT and AIDS work in the south,” said Matt Coles, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project. “We have long wanted to have a greater presence in the southern states. Christine is an excellent lawyer who has achieved some important victories during her time with the ACLU. Her commitment and expertise are exactly what we need to make a difference for LGBT southerners.” 

“The ACLU of Tennessee has a long history of fighting for greater fairness for gay people and people with HIV/AIDS,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “We look forward to continuing that tradition and are excited that Christine will be joining us to promote and protect civil liberties and civil rights in the region."

While at the ACLU, Sun has worked on a number of important cases and projects, especially cases involving the rights of GLBT students. She won a victory on behalf of a group of students in a rural California town who were barred from publishing a series of gay themed articles in the school newspaper. The school ultimately caved and permitted the students to publish the articles. Sun also secured a groundbreaking ruling from a federal court judge making schools liable for outing students to their parents. In that case, Sun represented an Orange County honors student who sued her high school principal for outing her to her parents without her permission and for suspending her for showing affection to her girlfriend.

“I’m very excited to be in Nashville and to be concentrating my work in the South,” said Sun. “While gay people continue to face discrimination in California, the law is more settled in favor of LGBT people there. There is a lot of important work to be done on behalf of LGBT people in the southern states, and I look forward to the challenge.”

Sun graduated with honors from NYU School of Law in 1998 where she was an editor of the NYU Law Review. She clerked for Judge Robert L. Carter (former NAACP General Counsel who argued Brown v. Board of Education) in the Federal District Court in New York City and then worked for Keker & Van Nest, a complex litigation firm in San Francisco, before joining the ACLU.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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