Family Equality is thrilled to welcome Meg to our Policy Department!
Senior Policy Counsel & Director of LGBTQ+ Family Law and Policy
Meg York joined Family Equality as Senior Policy Counsel & Director of LGBTQ+ Family Law and Policy in 2023. In this role, Meg advances a proactive agenda for family formation, expansion, and recognition; lobbies in support of legislative and policy changes at all levels of government that are beneficial to and affirming of LGBTQ+ families; drafts and advocates for model family-inclusive legislation; and provides legislative drafting and other technical assistances to national, state, and local partners and elected officials. Of the Policy Department’s priority areas, Meg specifically focuses on family formation and protection.
Prior to joining Family Equality, Meg was a Professor of Law at Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) and Director/Lead Attorney of the Family Law Project at VLGS’s Legal Clinic. There, Meg served the legal needs of vulnerable Vermonters while simultaneously teaching students how to practice law both inside and outside of the courtroom. Her practice areas included working with LGBTQ+ Vermonters, representing children, assisting victims of domestic violence, and providing legal services to populations with limited resources.
Throughout her legal career, Meg’s primary focus has been in LGBTQ+ advances and in support of the LGBTQ+ community. To that end, Meg represented LGBTQ+ clients free of charge, and supported LGBTQ+ law students. Meg helped clients establish and protect their legal rights to their children through policy, procedure, and litigation. Notably, Meg argued and won several cases that changed the legal landscape for all LGBTQ+ people in Vermont. She successfully appealed a Vital Records decision to deny a couple the ability to use an X gender marker on an initial birth certificate, resulting in the first non-binary birth certificate in the state. Meg secured parentage for a non-genetic father arguing that the marital presumption should apply despite the law’s discriminatory language that excluded gay men from the marriage presumption.
Prior to her professorship at VLGS, Meg worked as a family law attorney in Windham County, Vermont where she represented clients in divorce, parentage, custody and adoption proceedings. She also supported the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Meg has worked as a contract juvenile defense attorney representing children and parents in abuse and neglect cases, and her background also includes working with various nonprofits focused on LGBTQ+ rights, social justice, racial equity, rural advocacy, and animal welfare issues. Meg has published numerous articles on legal advocacy and LGBTQ+ rights.
Meg was named LGBTQ+ Bar Association’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40.
Meg is committed to providing high-quality legal advocacy to the most vulnerable, and to making law accessible to all. When she is not working, Meg enjoys spending time with her wife and three children in Vermont’s great outdoors.
Top 3 favorite podcasts, books, or TV shows?
I enjoy a variety of genres and I love listening to audio books while I commute. I don’t listen to podcasts regularly, but when I do, I listen to Amicus, Strict Scrutiny, and Slow Burn. I loved Cameron Esposito’s Save Yourself, and recently I’ve been enjoying reading science fiction such as works by Andy Weir and Ernest Cline.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love being outside! In the summer, I enjoy swimming in natural bodies of water like lakes and rivers. I’m a bit spoiled in Vermont – the water here is clean and beautiful, and the swimming is never crowded. In the spring and fall I enjoy hiking, and in the winter my favorite thing to do is downhill skiing. All of these things are made so much better when I do them with my wife and children.
What drives you to do this work?
I am driven by a love for my community and an innate sense of justice. LGBTQ+ individuals need dedicated and capable attorneys. My ability to use my education, skills, and expertise to advocate for queer community members has been a privilege. My career objective is to make the most lives livable.
What does family equality mean to you?
Family has been one of the most important parts of my life. When I first came out, I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to have a family or what that family could look like. Today, when I hug my wife and three beautiful children, I can’t imagine anything else. Family equality means that families like mine can not only exist, but we can thrive. We feel supported. We are supported. People can identify and access different paths to creating a loving family, and those connections can be solidified through legal processes.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou