Kendell, Kate


Kate Kendell is the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

In Memoriam: Diane Alexis Whipple

By Kate Kendell, Esq.
National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific death of Diane Alexis Whipple. For those of you who may not know or remember what happened to Diane, it was an unimaginable nightmare.

On the late afternoon of January 26, 2001, Diane was mauled to death by two enormous dogs in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building as she was bringing home groceries to make dinner that evening for herself and her partner of seven years, Sharon Smith. The brutality and terror of the attack were horrifying, and reports of Diane’s terrible death gripped the entire country.

Ted and David’s Most Excellent Adventure

By Kate Kendell
National Center for Lesbian Rights

In the weeks leading up to the Proposition 8 trial, much was made in the media, blogs, and everyday conversations about the unlikely duo leading the legal challenge against the shameful California ballot measure that stripped marriage from same-sex couples.

The two, Ted Olson and David Boies, are an unlikely pairing on many levels. They are political adversaries, and famously opposed each other in Bush v. Gore. They are each high-powered and highly paid inside-the-beltway lawyers. Ted is a long-time darling of the conservative movement, a former U.S. Solicitor General and a founder of the Federalist Society. David is a Democratic Party insider and an advisor to a number of key Democratic leaders. And, finally, both are straight, and had no apparent prior interest or experience in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.