West

Colorado

140619_her07_22Beth Bryant

Age: 58
Hometown: Denver
Cause: Estate planning for LGBT and non-traditional families

“Things have changed,” says Bryant, who started practicing law as a closeted lesbian in 1990 when Colorado had no civil unions and unmarried partners had no legal rights. Bryant’s first testimony to the state legislature on behalf of LGBT and non-traditional families was in 1999. Ten years and numerous testimonies later, the Colorado Designated Beneficiary Agreement passed; it allows unmarried people to grant certain` rights, benefits and protections to one another so they can make certain decisions about each other’s health care and estates. Bryant has also spent 15 years volunteering in probate court and 40 hours a month educating other lawyers and mentoring law students on the rights of non-traditional families and their wills. Most recently, Bryant has been a part of the Tribal Wills Project to help Native Americans and prepare their wills for free.

Says Bryant:

To have our government support equal rights for non-traditional couples is extraordinary. I never thought it would be legal in my lifetime.”

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