Leslie J. Gabel-Brett, Ph.D. is the Director of Education and Public Affairs for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. She oversees communications, public education and outreach activities.
Gabel-Brett has been an activist and policy leader for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV, and for the rights of women and girls for over 25 years. Before joining Lambda Legal, she served as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women for 12 years, and prior to that as the Executive Director of the nonprofit Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund. For more than a decade, she served on the Steering Committee of the Connecticut Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Civil Rights and of the Connecticut marriage equality coalition, Love Makes a Family.
Gabel-Brett played key roles in several legislative and legal victories, including passage of state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and instituting family law protections for same-sex couples, and legal actions that required equal recreational services be provided to same-sex couples and that excluded the Boy Scouts from Connecticut's state-sponsored charitable giving campaign because of the organization's policy of discrimination. Between 1990 and 1993, Gabel-Brett served as the Chairperson of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, having been appointed to that position by Governor William A. O'Neill in 1990, and reappointed by Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
Gabel-Brett received her doctorate in Anthropology from the City University of New York and her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Wesleyan University. She has taught women's studies, law and anthropology courses at the University of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Law School and Wesleyan University.