We Are Family
Joe Price’s associations with LGBT law and activism are lengthy. He’s a past president of the William & Mary’s Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association, and was among the founders of Equality Virginia , serving on its board and as general counsel. It should be noted here that Dylan Ward also worked in EV’s development office from 2003 until 2006 and that according to MetroWeekly, Price was instrumental in Ward securing the job.
Gay parenting is also important for Joe. He and Victor Zaborsky are the biological fathers of two children with a lesbian couple in the DC suburbs and were featured in USA Today in 2004. A very high profile case for him was his pro bono legal work on behalf of Janet Jenkins in a custody battle over visitation rights with her five year old daughter, featured here in this Newsweek story from December, 2008.
Nearly a year after the Wone murder on June 29, 2007, Joe co-hosted and presented this continuing legal education webinar at the Arent Fox offices entitled: “Lambda Legal – A Review of Legal Issues Concerning GLBT Citizens and Their Families.” A search of the law firm’s website doesn’t yield much for Joe Price, listed as an “inactive attorney” , but this webinar remains for viewing.
Spoiler Alert: Handily indexed in six parts, Joe introduces the day then later presents for thirty minutes on family law as it applies to Miller v. Jenkins, a heartbreaking case in which Joe’s client was denied visitation rights to her daughter for nearly four years. Joe gives an animated and authoritative presentation, something one would see on C-SPAN, but with less production values. Injecting a bit of levity a number of times to this weighty issue, Joe says that despite his Commonwealth roots and education, his talk was going to be “perhaps not entirely kind to Virginia.”
He joked that during a drive up to a Winchester,Virgina court appearance, he and his colleagues “…weren’t feeling so welcome actually” due to the “…gun stores and churches, gun store and churches…. tons of gun stores.” In his powerpoint deck were a couple slides showing one such store, Stonewall Arm’s, along with their menacing looking guard dog. The slides were titled, “Welcome to Winchester, Janet.” (It appears the German Shepard featured survived the website redesign and is still seen on the gun shop’s pages.)
Frederick County Judge John Prosser who presided over the trial wasn’t spared either. For his deck Joe said he’d spent some time looking for a picture of Prossner, but to no avail. “But I believe that Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies bears a striking resemblance…”
Joe ended up besting Judge Prossner. He won a key Vermont case that finally granted Janet Jenkins her visitation privileges. He tells us that on the very next morning, June 30, Jenkins , “…will have visitation with her daughter, pursuant to court order for the first time in… four years.” Great timing.
Joe ends with a story about a recent lunch he’d had with civil rights giant Julian Bond. Making an analogy to the civil rights struggle, Bond tells Price that when the history books are written about gay rights, organizations like Lambda Legal Defense, the CLE’s co-sponsor, “will be the NAACP” of that civil rights movement. A big finish.
-posted by Craig