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UCLA Scholar to Speak at USD School of Law Lavender Lecture

Image Adam P. Romero Adam P. Romero with the Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank at UCLA, will speak on the USD campus on Thursday.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law hosts its annual Lavender Lecture on Thursday, Oct., 6, and will feature a lawyer from the only LGBT policy think tank in the U.S. who will speak on employment discrimination.

Adam P. Romero is senior counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy scholar of law at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2002, he graduated from Cornell University and in 2007, he received his law degree from Yale Law School.

He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case nationally to declare unconstitutional laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context. He is also co-editor of Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations (2009).

Also speaking at the Lavender Lecture will be Karen Mackey, who has served as the executive director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission since 2004. In 2008, she was named a woman of excellence by Women Aware. Mackey is a co-founder of Siouxland Pride Alliance in Siouxland. She serves on the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board and as commission chair of the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs.

The Lavender Lecture was inaugurated by the OUTLaws student group in 2013 as a venue to bring discussion and education to South Dakota on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and the law. This year’s lecture is cosponsored by the OUTLaws and Women in Law student groups. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. in the USD School of Law Courtroom.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News