Jeh Johnson, the general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense, delivered the keynote address at "LGBT Rights: Toward a More Perfect Union," a symposium sponsored by Albany Government Law Review on Oct. 13, 2011.
Johnson addressed the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal in the armed services at the daylong event at Albany Law School. Johnson, the co-chair of the 2010 working group that studied the impact of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” oversees all legal matters for the largest government agency in the world.
The first panel focused on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Panelists Maura Healey, chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and Roberta Kaplan, partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, argued the constitutionality of DOMA in pending court cases against the U.S. House of Representatives in the First Circuit and in the Southern District of New York, respectively. Brian Raum, director of Marriage Litigation Center for the Alliance Defense Fund, also participated on the panel.
The second panel, on family and workplace rights, featured “LGBT Liaison” Matt Nosanchuk, senior counselor in the U.S. Department of Justice; Michele Kahn, partner at Kahn & Goldberg; William Singer, partner at Singer & Fedun; and Carol Buell, partner at Weiss, Buell & Bell.
The third panel, "An Oral History of the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage," included Hon. Daniel O’Donnell, New York State Assemblymember; Hon. James Alesi, New York State Senator; and Katherine Grainger, Assistant Counsel, Office of Counsel to the Governor.