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Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Group Picks A President

Scott Malzahn, managing partner of the downtown litigation boutique firm Waymaker LLP, was recently elected president of the civil rights organization Equality California.

Malzahn, who was previously vice president of the organization, will serve a two-year stint as president of Equality California. He joined the group, which is also based downtown and touts itself as the largest statewide LGBTQ rights organization in the United States, in 2017.

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography
Malzahan

“We’re the primary voice in California on LGBTQ-plus issues,” Malzahn said. “For a long time, we’ve played an important role in state politics and building a pipeline for local leaders in state and federal positions.”

The relationship between Waymaker — which Malzahn joined in 2016 — and Equality California goes deeper, with the firm having provided legal and financial support to the organization for years. Previously, Malzahn was with Gibson Dunn and was on the trial team for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case that overturned Proposition 8 and legalized same-sex marriage in California.

“Scott has been an invaluable member of Equality California’s board leadership, and we’re so grateful for his and Waymaker’s generous support of our mission,” Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang said in a statement. “We look forward to our continued partnership in the fight for full, lived equality for all LGBTQ-plus people.”

Malzahn said he expects the organization to be more active in local court jurisdictions, especially given the current GOP tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court. That includes joining in legal fights and fostering younger political talent, particularly as President Joe Biden has at least two years of political appointments left.

“What’s really exciting about this role now is that it’s pretty clear, given the composition, that there isn’t going to be a lot of progress in the Supreme Court, so where it’s going to be important is at the state level,” he said. “Here in California, we play a leading role in terms of establishing a standard that the country can look forward to as a whole.”

Equality California will also keep vigilant on laws in other states, some of which have targeted transgender students.

“We’re going to be keeping our eyes closely on trans issues that arrive in other states as well as here to make sure that families with trans kids are protected and that California is a place where they can be protected,” Malzahn said.

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