LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer)
Amara is the former Legal Director of Mazzoni Center and successfully transferred to Mazzoni Center a legal department which had previously existed at the now-defunct Equality Advocates Pennsylvania (formerly, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights). Amara served as legal director for Mazzoni Center/EAP from September 2008 to September 2011. While Amara no longer actively works in the field of LGBTQ rights, she remains incredibly supportive of the movement and is extremely proud of her past work in this field. As in her other legal case work, Amara worked without the assistance of outside counsel in the overwhelming majority of her LGBTQ civil rights cases. Among her more notable case work are the following: Marriage Equality/Relationship Recognition
- Successfully represented a party in first Pennsylvania case in which a trial court issued an order dissolving a same-sex civil union.
- Litigated one of the first Pennsylvania cases seeking a divorce of a same-sex marriage obtained in another jurisdiction.
- Litigated “transgender life guard” case which was favorably resolved after two-day adjudicatory hearing before local human relations commission. [link to PGN article re: settlement: http://epgn.com/view/full_story/9284758/article-News-Briefing?instance=home_news and http://epgn.com/view/full_story/9542254/article-News-Briefing]
- Obtained a six-figure settlement award for a plaintiff in a federal civil rights law suit against a large state university on First Amendment free speech grounds. (On this case, I worked with cooperating counsel at outside law firm).
- Filed amicus brief challenging Boy Scouts of America’s rent-free use of municipal land and supporting municipality’s right to refuse rent-free use of public land to parties who refused to comply with municipal anti-discrimination law. (On this case, I served as local counsel to Lambda Legal).
- Represented college student threatened at knife point while entering his dormitory because of LGBT status. [link to media: http://articles.philly.com/2011-05-19/news/29560641_1_jones-family-halloween-dance-rabbit-ears]