Elizabeth Gill is a Senior Staff Attorney for the Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice Program at the ACLU of Northern California and the National ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. Elizabeth has been at the ACLU since 2008, and she leads litigation and advocacy around the country related to ensuring the equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and on reproductive justice and gender equity.
Elizabeth’s current litigation includes the Carcaño v. McCrory case in federal court challenging North Carolina’s law (HB 2) that requires transgender people to use restrooms that do not accord with their gender identity and prohibits the protection of LGBTQ people more generally. She successfully represented a gay couple in the Arlene’s Flowers case in Washington state against a florist who refused to sell them flowers for their wedding. In a California case, she challenged the refusal of religiously-affiliated hospitals that receive state and federal funding to comply with laws protecting women and transgender people. Elizabeth is also part of the team representing Gavin Grimm, the transgender teenager whose case was briefly in the U.S. Supreme Court, and she led the nationwide effort to coordinate amicus briefs.
As the lead for the ACLU of Nor Cal’s LGBTQ work, Elizabeth has also worked on numerous legislative and ballot initiative campaigns—from California’s Prop 8 to AB 1266, California’s law guaranteeing that transgender students have access to the facilities and activities that accord with their gender identity. She also brought and led several successful cases establishing the right of same-sex couples to marry around the country. She successfully sued a Central Valley school district for their failure to provide comprehensive sex education, which resulted in the first court ruling to find that abstinence-only-until marriage instruction is unlawful on the grounds of medical accuracy and bias, and she continues to litigate the historic Hegar v. Panetta challenge to the Department of Defense’s exclusion of women from combat positions.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Elizabeth worked at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and at WilmerHale in Washington, DC. Elizabeth graduated with honors from Columbia College with a degree in Philosophy and from Harvard Law School, where she was Notes Editor on the Harvard Law Review. She also clerked for the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Elizabeth speaks frequently about her work, appearing on panels at Berkeley, Stanford, and Duke Law, among others, and has appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show and KQED’s Forum. She is also a former board member of the GSA Network (formerly the Gay-Straight Alliance Network), and in her free time, enjoys hiking on Mount Tam and crossword puzzles.