Kate Kendell


Kate Kendell led the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization advancing the civil and human rights of LGBT people and their families, for twenty-two years. Kate grew up Mormon in Utah and received her JD degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988. After a few years as a corporate attorney, she was named the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. In 1994 she accepted the position as legal director with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996 Kate was named NCLR's executive director. Under Kate's leadership, NCLR won custody and family law cases, achieved victories on behalf of LGBT athletes, won protections for LGBT students and elders, and secured asylum for over three hundred clients. NCLR was lead counsel on the California marriage equality case in 2008 and was later part of the team of attorneys to secure national marriage equality in the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges.