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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Gay Rights Director Announces Departure; Spent Four Years Coordinating Work on Lesbian, Gay Rights, AIDS For IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 1994 NEW YORK -- After four years of directing the American Civil Liberties Union's increasingly aggressive work fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and HIV status, William B. Rubenstein has announced he is leaving his posts as Director of the ACLU's national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project and AIDS Project. Rubenstein, who plans to join his partner in Boston and teach for the next year at Harvard and Yale Law Schools, joined the ACLU seven years ago as the first staff attorney for the lesbian and gay rights and AIDS projects. He succeeded Nan Hunter, the founding director of the Projects, in June of 1990. Today, the projects have four attorneys in New York and a legislative representative in Washington and a budget of nearly $1 million. Nationally, the ACLU handles more lesbian and gay rights and AIDS matters than any other organization. Today, the projects are working with ACLU affiliates around the country in coordinating more than 125 lesbian and gay rights matters and 75 AIDS discrimination matters. "It has been an honor to work for the ACLU and to make the ACLU work better for the lesbian and gay community," Rubenstein said. "It is rewarding to leave knowing that I have helped the Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, and the ACLU generally, be at th e heart of the struggle for equality for gay Americans -- and knowing that this is only the beginning." Calling Rubenstein's decision to leave a "tough loss," ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser added that "Bill has done a stunning job in building the Projects, expanding their financial infrastructure and making the ACLU a key player in the struggle for equal rights for lesbians and gay men." "But one measure of a person's institutional accomplishment is whether it can continue to function effective after he leaves the helm," Glasser continued. "I am confident that we are well-positioned to do so, and owe much to Bill for that as well." In the last several years, the ACLU has dramatically expanded its work in fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and HIV status. Recent ACLU victories in the courts include a Virginia decision to give a lesbian mother custody of her three-year-old son and a $512,000 verdict against an Ohio hospital and doctor for discriminating against a person with AIDS. The ACLU is also continuing to litigate the challenge to President Clinton's discriminatory military policy and an ongoing case fighting Florida's ban on gay adoption, which is currently pending before the state Supreme Court. Non-litigation activities include the ongoing production of a video to help combat the wave of anti-gay initiatives sweeping the country and the publication of three briefing books that have provided in-depth analysis on Colorado's anti-gay ballot initiative, on the Americans With Disabilities Act and on needle exchange and harm reduction efforts. In addition to coordinating the ACLU's efforts in these areas, Rubenstein has developed the first casebook on gay rights law, Lesbians, Gay Men and the Law, and co-edited, with Nan Hunter, AIDS Agenda: Emerging Issues in Civil Rights. --endit-- ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher://aclu.org:6601 | American Civil Liberties Union National Office ftp://aclu.org | mailto:infoaclu@aclu.org | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

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