Kathleen has long been an advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers. As district attorney, Kathleen created the office’s first-ever hate crimes prosecutor position. The prosecutor serves as a dedicated advocate for LGBT victims of hate crime and as a hate crimes legal expert to police departments in Nassau County. Kathleen also appointed the first two openly gay senior staff members in the office’s history.
In 2010, Kathleen played a vocal role in New York's successful fight for marriage quality, and she would later become the only prosecutor nationwide to commit to charging public officials with a crime if they refused to grant marriage licenses to lawful same-sex applicants. That same year, Kathleen became the first candidate for statewide office to vow to sue the federal government over the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Kathleen's legislative efforts have included her lobbying Albany for legislation that protects students and state workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender expression.