US: Gay rights attorney honoured with $625,000 ‘genius grant’
A civil rights attorney who pioneered the cause of same-sex marriage in the US legal system has been honoured with a ‘genius grant’.
The MacArthur Foundation named Mary Bonauto, who led the court challenge that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Massechusets, as one of the 21 recipients of its annual award.
Ms Banuto, who has worked as part of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) since 1990, was awarded the sum for her work “breaking down legal barriers based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.
She was honoured today alongside lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel and gay playwright Samuel Hunter.
GLAD said: “So proud of Mary Bonauto for this well deserved honour!”
The philanthropic foundation, which has an endowment of over $5 billion, says it “supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world”.
The ‘genius’ award comes with a no-strings-attached cash sum of $625,000.
Alison Bechdel – known as the creator of the popular Bechdel test – spoke out earlier this year after South Carolina lawmakers cut over $52,000 (£31,200) of funding from the College of Charleston for stocking her novel Fun Home.
Bechdel later attended an event at the college to protest the decision, while the cast of the Broadway musical based on the book held a free performance there.
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