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On behalf of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY), we would like to extend our congratulations to Stephen Lessard, newly installed president of the New York County Lawyers Association, who was featured in a NYLJ article on June 3, 2019 entitled “First Openly Gay President of Major NY Bar Association Talks About Diversity.” However, the article contains one major misstatement. Mr. Lessard’s achievement is laudable, but he is not the first openly gay president of a major bar association in New York and we ask that NYLJ publish a correction. WBASNY, formed in the late 1970s by a diverse group of dedicated and visionary people of all genders, proudly installed its first openly gay president, Susan Bender, in 1992. Susan continues to be actively involved in WBASNY’s mission and is a frequent contributor to the New York Law Journal. In 2015, WBASNY installed its second openly gay president, Andrea Composto, who created our LGBTQ Committee. WBASNY, with more than 4,200 members in 20 chapters across New York State, is the second-largest bar association in New York. Its members include people of all genders and sexual orientation in public and private practice, in academia and in the judiciary. During Pride month, WBASNY salutes every organization which practices inclusiveness and dignity. We look forward to sharing our mission with NYLJ and its readers.

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