MacArthur 'Genius Grants' Include Boston Civil Rights Attorney Mary Bonauto

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A Harvard mathematician and a Boston civil rights attorney are among the 21 people who will receive "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation.

Jacob Lurie and Mary Bonauto are among the 2014 MacArthur Fellows selected for showing "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." Each fellow will receive $625,000 over five years to use as they wish.

Bonauto has been a pivotal leader in the court battles for same-sex marriage, starting with Vermont, which became the first state to grant civil unions for same-sex couples in 2000. Bonauto successfully argued the landmark Goodridge case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages.


Mary Bonauto, director of the Civil Rights Project at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).


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Radio Boston: One Boston Attorney At The Forefront Of Gay Marriage Push

  • In 2003, Bonauto successfully argued the landmark case Goodridge et al. v. Dept. Public Health, which made Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. For that case and several others, Bonauto has been called the Thurgood Marshall of the gay rights movement.

NPR: Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

  • The 2014 MacArthur Award winners are exploring the subtleties of race via psychology and poetry, using math to model the human brain or define the limits of prime numbers, or providing physical, home and job security to some of the country's most at-risk populations.

MacArthur Foundation: Meet The 20014 Fellows

  • Bonauto is breaking down legal barriers based on sexual orientation and influencing debates about the relationship between the law and momentous social change more broadly.

This article was originally published on September 17, 2014.

This segment aired on September 17, 2014.


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