ACLU Hires Civil Rights Lawyer to Champion Equality for LGBT Rights/AIDS in Midwest

Affiliate: ACLU of Illinois
March 22, 2004 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Illinois
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHICAGO — An accomplished attorney with more than a decade of experience advocating on behalf of individuals fighting discrimination has joined the American Civil Liberties Union’s national and affiliate offices as part of the organization’s continuing efforts to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons and people with HIV/AIDS, the ACLU announced today.

John A. Knight, formerly a trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, today began his position as Director of the ACLU of Illinois’ Lesbian and Gay Rights/AIDS Project. Knight also will serve as a Midwest regional attorney for the National ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights and AIDS Projects. In this unique position, Knight will work with the national office of the ACLU to assist ACLU affiliates across the Midwest region in confronting bias and discrimination in those states.

“We are fortunate that a seasoned civil rights litigator like John Knight is bringing his experience, commitment and expertise to the effort to ensure equality for all persons here in Illinois and across the Midwest,” said Harvey Grossman, Legal Director for the ACLU of Illinois.

The ACLU of Illinois Gay and Lesbian Rights/AIDS Project supports extensive litigation, legislative and education efforts to protect and extend the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender persons and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

“It’s very exciting to be joining the ACLU at such a critical time in the struggle for gay equality, and I look forward to the many challenges ahead,” said Knight. “This is a great opportunity for me to put my skills and experience to work on issues that are so important to me and other LGBT people.”

Knight, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, comes to the ACLU after five years of highly regarded service at the EEOC. During his tenure there, Knight was involved in a number of significant cases involving harassment and discrimination in the workplace. His efforts in these cases resulted in the EEOC Chairwoman honoring Knight with the Chair’s Opportunity to Reward Excellence (CORE) Award.

Prior to his work at EEOC, Knight was Director of the Homeless Assistance Project at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. In that position, he oversaw litigation and advocacy on behalf of homeless persons in Chicago, including a lawsuit against the City of Chicago that challenged the city’s treatment of homeless persons who congregated on Lower Wacker Drive.

“We’re at a crucial stage in the long-term effort to assure equal rights for gay men and lesbians in our nation,” said Matt Coles, Director of the National ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights/AIDS Project. “We are better positioned to meet the challenges and opportunities of these times with top-notch lawyers like John Knight as part of our Project.”

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release