• Minton-Spidell Point Scholar
  • Yale Law School
  • Law

Matthew Smith

point Scholar 2009 – 2012

Matt grew up in a very conservative religious family in Castle Rock, Colorado. Throughout his childhood, he was taught that homosexuality was sinful and “intrinsically disordered.” For example, in 1992 his parents were avid supporters of Amendment 2, which amended the Colorado Constitution to strip gays and lesbians of legal protections. While Amendment 2 was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, his parents’ animus toward homosexuality continued unabated. Matt was tumultuously outed by his parents during his senior year of high school, and although the ferocity of their reaction eventually diminished, they have been unable to accept him as an equal member of the family.

In spite of these hardships, Matt excelled as an undergraduate at Stanford University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2006, with distinction and with honors. Under the direction of Kathleen Sullivan, the former dean of Stanford Law School, he wrote his honors thesis on gay marriage, a project for which he was awarded the Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities. Matt has spent the past two and a half years working as a research associate for the Spencer Foundation in Chicago where he authored book chapters and numerous scholarly articles, including an article in the June 2009 issue of the Administrative Law Review.

Matt is now a student at the Yale Law School where his primary interest is public law, particularly issues of social justice. Upon graduation, he hopes to pursue a career as a legal academic and an appellate litigator.

Point offers mentorship, leadership development and community service training to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) students.

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