Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree

Mr. Robert Flynn

Robert Lynn dedicated his life to advocating for civil rights and marginalized communities. After serving as a Naval Officer during the Vietnam War, he pursued a legal career at California Western School of Law. 

Throughout his legal journey, Mr. Lynn fearlessly championed unpopular causes, displaying a remarkable ability to express his views courteously and calmly. Early in his career, he volunteered as a lawyer for the San Diego Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he successfully challenged the unconstitutional detention of Edward Lawson, a Black business consultant, by the police. His relentless pursuit of justice led him to prevail at every level, including the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Lynn played a crucial role in founding various organizations that continue to make a positive impact today. He founded the San Diego Democratic Club, and remains one of the oldest active LGBTQ+ organizations in the United States. Furthermore in 1979, he co-founded the San Diego Equality Business Association which provides support for gay business owners. Mr. Lynn’s dedication to equality was extended to his involvement with the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego County, and the Tom Homann LGBTQ+ Law Association. 

As an openly gay man practicing law during a time when homosexuality was criminalized. Despite the constant jeopardy of his law license, he fearlessly advocated for unpopular causes. His commitment to fighting racism was equally significant, as he was a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU and worked cases that forced institutions to protect the rights of marginalized communities. Robert’s impact on the LGBTQ+ community and the wider San Diego legal community is immeasurable, and his unwavering dedication to justice and equality will be remembered as a cornerstone of his legacy.