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Terms such as "Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights" apply to rights to which persons are entitled because they are citizens or simply because they are human beings. Such rights protect against undue interference with a person's physical or mental integrity and protect against discrimination on grounds such as race, sex, sexual orientation, and religion. In the U.S. constitutional and statutory provisions exist to provide protection, and sometimes a person may bring a lawsuit to vindicate such rights.
Mr. McCabe has been involved in a number of important civil rights cases over the years.
Acting pro bono (for public benefit and without pay) and at the request of a civil rights organization, he wrote an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief. Mr. McCabe's argument was echoed by a panel of the 14th Court of Appeals in striking down the Texas anti-homosexual-conduct statute as a violation of civil rights. That case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the civil rights of homosexuals, reversed the full 14th Court, and struck down the Texas statute in the landmark 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas.
Mr. McCabe later joined in a pro bono amicus brief to the Massachusetts Supreme Court in a civil rights case that resulted in judicial recognition of the civil right to same-sex marriage.