HARRISBURG (May 4, 2021) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) LGBTQ+ Rights Committee will present its 2021 David M. Rosenblum LGBTQ+ Public Policy Award to Thomas W. Ude Jr., legal and public policy director at Mazzoni Center, virtually at an awards ceremony during the PBA Virtual Annual Meeting, May 19-21.
Rosenblum, an active member of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee and a staunch proponent of civil rights, passed away suddenly in 2014. He was a driving force behind the report, “How Marriage Counts: 572 Ways Marriage Counts in Pennsylvania,” a joint publication of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, the Mazzoni Center and Dechert LLP. Rosenblum was the legal director at the Mazzoni Center. The award honors individuals who have effected change resulting in a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ community and who have used his or her position of leadership to inspire others to act and promote civil rights and equality.
Ude has more than three decades of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, including seven years with Lambda Legal, the national legal organization advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV. Since 2014, he has been serving the greater Philadelphia LGBTQ+ community through his work directing Mazzoni Center’s legal services program, which provides representation to and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people, particularly those with low incomes, as part of Mazzoni Center’s health and wellness programs.
Throughout his legal career, Ude has advocated for the rights of LGBTQ+ people and persons living with HIV in employment, recognition of same-sex relationships and parent-child relationships, health insurance and access to care, obtaining legal name changes and accurate identification documents, and when interacting with government officials.
An active member of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, he currently serves as its co-chair. He also is an integral member of the Transgender Name Change Task Force, both in its initial phase assisting with the development of a report and recommendation presented to the PBA House of Delegates, and now with development of proposed civil procedural rules to protect the privacy of transgender persons petitioning for name changes that reflect their true identities. More specifically, he has been the lead on drafting information to the Rules Committee, explaining the history of the project, the need for rule changes and the proposed changes.
Ude is also a member of the PBA Civil and Equal Rights Committee, Family Law Section, Health Care Law Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section and Legal Services to the Public Committee. In Philadelphia, he is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and vice chair of the Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association.
Ude graduated from the University of Michigan School of Law and the University of Connecticut.
For more information on the PBA Virtual Annual Meeting, visit https://www.pabar.org/pdf/2021/2021AnnualMeeting.pdf.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.