LGBTQ people deserve and are entitled to live full, equal and authentic lives. However, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression remains pervasive across the country and in New York State. Empire Justice Center’s LGBTQ Rights unit provides free legal services to low income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex clients in Western and Central New York, with a focus on anti-discrimination in employment, education, housing, credit and public accommodations.
If you feel you were treated unfairly in any of these settings because of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression and/or intersex status, please see contact information below to get help:
If you are a transgender or gender-nonconforming person who needs assistance obtaining a judicial name change and accurate identity documents;
If you are an LGBTQI elder who has been treated unfairly because of your status and/or needs assistance preparing advance health directives, health care proxies, and wills;
If you are an LGBTQI veteran who needs assistance updating the name and gender marker on your military records, and/or are having trouble accessing any public benefits due to your discharge status (as related to Don't Ask, Don't Tell).
PRESS STATEMENT: Victory for LGBTQ Families! 4th Department Determines Civil Union Spouses Have the Right to Equitable Distribution
July 30, 2018
A victory for LGBTQ families, thanks to representation by Empire Justice Center and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY – the 4th Department determines, for the first time in New York State, that civil union spouses have right to equitable distribution when that civil union ends.
The legislature is out of town and the weather is hot and humid – but here at Empire Justice Center we have kept the pressure up, pushing forward on important policy and systems change initiatives in education, disability advocacy, nutrition access, and LGBTQ family law. Find out more in this July edition of Policy Matters.
PRESS RELEASE: Empire Justice Center Blasts Trump Decision to Rescind Protections for Trans Students
February 23, 2017
Empire Justice Center absolutely condemns the federal government's rescission of critical guidance that directed publicly-funded schools about how to ensure equal access to educational resources and facilities for transgender and gender non-conforming students.
Milo Primeaux is a queer-identified transgender man and the staff attorney of our LGBTQ Rights Project – an initiative started in 2013 by former Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow Julia Sáenz.
In this position, Milo provides direct legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in the greater Rochester area on a variety of legal issues related to their status as LGBTQ. He is particularly interested in assisting transgender clients with legal name changes and obtaining accurate identity documents, employment discrimination issues, healthcare and health insurance access issues, difficulties experienced by aging and elderly LGBTQ individuals, and unique barriers faced by LGBTQ active military service people, veterans, and their dependents. Milo also works on a variety of policy issues impacting LGBTQ communities, and provides training and technical support for attorneys, courts, and LGBTQ people statewide. He approaches all of this work through a critical racial and economic justice lens, recognizing that low-income LGBTQ individuals of color are most adversely impacted by systemic discrimination and require supportive legal services to help them overcome the compounded barriers they face.
Previously as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow for 2014-2015 at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC, Milo focused on reducing legal barriers to employment for transgender communities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He managed a monthly Name & Gender Change Legal Clinic, and assisted over 250 transgender clients with legal issues related to accessing accurate identity documents. Additionally he facilitated the DC Transgender Employment Task Force, a coalition formed to address and overcome systemic barriers to employment faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in the greater DC area.
During law school, Milo founded the Organization for Transgender Health Empowerment Resources (OTHER), a non-profit committed to increasing access to adequate and competent health care for all transgender and gender-nonconforming people. He has also worked for the health initiative of the Community Service Society, volunteered for Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), interned at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Legal Aid Society in New York City, and served for three years on the NYC Bar Association LGBT Committee.
Milo received his law degree from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, and is licensed to practice in New York State.