Shannon Price Minter (born February 14, 1961) is an American civil rights attorney and the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco.[1][2][3]

A 1993 graduate of Cornell Law School, Minter has been lead counsel in dozens of groundbreaking legal victories for the LGBT community.[2] A transman who spent his first 35 years as a female, Minter grew up in East Texas.[1][2] Minter did not change his name when he transitioned from female to male,[1] although he later added the middle name Price in honor of his uncle who died in 2003. He has a step daughter and wife whom he married in 2001.[2] Minter says he is pained "by the injustice" that transgendered individuals may be legally married in California while gay and lesbian couples cannot.[2]

Minter also has taught law at Stanford University, Golden Gate University and Santa Clara University.[4]

Professional legal career

Minter first gained national attention in the United States in 2001 representing the lesbian partner of Diane Whipple, in a wrongful death case due to a dog mauling; which resulted in a landmark decision in California that extended tort claims to same-sex domestic partners; previously it was a right limited only to married couples.[4]

In 2003, Minter gained national attention again when CourtTV aired the entire case of Kantaras v. Kantaras, where Minter represented Michael Kantaras, a transgender man who was trying to keep custody of his children.[4]

Minter was the lead attorney arguing on March 5, 2009 before the California Supreme Court to overturn California Proposition 8.[2][3] He was opposed in the courtroom by Ken Starr.[2][3]


Minter won a Ford Foundation "Leadership for a Changing World" award in October 2005.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mangaliman, Jessie (2005-10-06). San Jose Mercury News. Transgender Advocate Honored Retrieved on 2009-03-05.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Rojas, Aurelio. "Ken Starr vs. transsexual in Prop 8 case", Chicago Sun-Times (Sacramento Bee News Service), 2009-03-03. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jesse McKinley and John Schwartz. "California Court to Weigh Gay Marriage Ban", New York Times, 2009-03-04. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Lowery, George. "Unfair and unequal: Attorney Minter champions rights of sexual minorities", Cornell University Chronicle), 2005-11-29. Retrieved on 2010-02-11. 

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