Mary Bonauto '83 was the lead counsel in the landmark November 18 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that ruled to allow gay marriages. Bonauto is the civil rights project director for the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, she concentrates on impact litigation for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, as well as people living with HIV or AIDS.
According to the GLAD Web site, she has litigated widely in the state and federal courts and agencies of the six New England states for the last 12 years. In 1999, she and two Vermont co-counsel won a ruling that same-sex couples are entitled to all of the benefits and protections of civil marriage in the case of Baker v. State of Vermont. This ruling prompted the Vermont legislature to enact the nation's first "civil union" law for same-sex couples.