CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The past 12 months have seen a whirlwind of activity in the civil rights struggle of LGBT Americans. In 2015, the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges established once and for all that same-sex couples have an equal right to marriage. But on the state level, the debate continues, particularly with a number of state legislatures passing or considering new laws to govern which restrooms should be available to transgender citizens.

With all of this activity taking place, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) Executive Director Michael Silverman’s visit to Womble Carlyle couldn’t have been timelier. Silverman was the keynote speaker for the firm’s celebration of LGBT History Month. His remarks took place live in the firm’s Charlotte office and were broadcast throughout the firm.

Womble Carlyle recently announced that the firm will serve as pro bono North Carolina counsel for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Name Change Project.

Silverman has worked as an attorney in the LGBT civil rights movement since 1994 and has served as TLDEF’s Executive Director since its founding. In addition to his work at TLDEF, Silverman is Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches courses on gender, sexuality and the law.  As a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal, he worked on a number of groundbreaking cases, including Baehr v. Miike, one of the earliest challenges to restrictions on the freedom to marry, and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.


l-r: TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman & Womble Carlyle attorney Mark Henriques