Staff Bio: Liz Seaton
Liz Seaton is a genderqueer attorney-activist who marches in the streets against racial injustice and for LGBTQ liberation – and dons a suit and tie to fight for equality and justice at the White House, in federal agencies, on Capitol Hill, and with state legislatures and governments. Most recently, as the D.C. Department on Disability Services’ Legislative and Policy Analyst for the, Liz drove the agency’s work to win a long-awaited civil rights restoration law for diverse Washingtonians with disabilities. Seaton served on the District’s Cultural and Linguistic Community of Practice, with a focus on changing agency policy to focus on serving historically disadvantaged communities. Before that, to address the rampant racial injustice taking place in state courts, she proposed and worked on Lambda Legal’s and the American Constitution Society’s (ACS): Diversity Counts: Why States Should Measure the Diversity of Their Judges and How They Can Do It. At the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Liz worked on administrative intersectional cases, advocated federally for transgender inclusion in the Matthew Shepard and James R. Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), helped secure Maryland’s marriage equality and transgender civil rights law victories, and supervised the Elder, Immigration, Sports and Youth Projects.
As ACS’s Deputy Programs Director, Seaton staffed the Criminal Justice, Religion Clauses, and Separation of Powers and Federalism Issue Groups. One focus was health care refusal clauses, a vitally important issue for the LGBTQ community. Finisher her six years at the Human Rights Campaign’s as General Counsel/Legal Director, Seaton advocated at HRC for inclusive mission statement transformation, led a team of attorneys to write the definition of Gender Identity in the HCPA, and co-authored the congressional resource Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding. Before that, Seaton transformed Maryland’s Free State Justice into a professionally-staffed organization, tripling the budget in one year. At the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Liz provided legal aid, founded the Clinic’s amicus advocacy program and co-authored a brief that helped to establish asymptomatic HIV as a disability. That gave people legal rights to the protections of federal disability non-discrimination laws. There, Seaton helped immigrants apply for asylum and then secure Green Cards and U.S. citizenship. Seaton is a Founding Board Member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute. Liz holds a J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy/Women’s Studies.
Over the years, Liz has drawn energy and inspiration from the Task Force’s Creating Change Conference, and worked with the Task Force on many policy battles. One semester during graduate school, Seaton served as a National LGBTQ Task Force intern, and in 1981 when Liz came out, one kind Task Force staffer served up a whole lot of love and support at a crucial moment.
Seaton’s spouse/partner for more than three decades is the amazing Dr. Pat Evans, and their beloved daughter Ryan is a college sophomore. For fun in 2020, Seaton phone banked and wrote postcards to voters. Seaton looks forward to working with a Biden-Harris Administration and the whole Task Force team as Policy Director.